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What Next for Ukraine and the Visegrad Group: Reassessing Strained or Disinterested Relationships

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 9:30 am – 1:30 pm

What Next for Ukraine and the Visegrad Group: Reassessing Strained or Disinterested Relationships   

Date and time: March 28, 2018

Venue: Central European University, Budapest, Nádor utca 15, 103 Tiered Room

Despite the existing mechanism Visegrad 4+Ukraine and contrary to many political declarations made since early 1990s, there is no established working platform between the V-4 states and Ukraine where common denominator would be found for the interests of all five states, not to mention policies would be synchronized and aligned with each other. In Visegrad itself at the moment there is a clear division between Slovakia and Czech Republic, on one hand, and Hungary and Poland with their rising authoritarianism and Euro-skepticism, on the other. From annexation of Crimea and outbreak of conflict in Ukraine the conflicting priorities and policy discrepancies manifested themselves clearly in V-4 states, albeit their formal support of territorial integrity of Ukraine.

At the moment, the situation takes on an increasingly more nuanced turn, with bilateral relations of Ukraine strained with two out of four Visegrad states. Ukrainian-Hungarian relations fell a prey to extreme politicization, as seen in dispute over Ukrainian education law and Hungarian passportization policies in Ukrainian Transcarpathian region. Ukraine’s relations with Poland soured over policy of national memory and are now in a drastic contrast to the period when Poland was praised for being Ukraine’s “locomotive in Europe”.

This workshop seeks to analyze the causes and features of Ukraine’s strained relations with Hungary and Poland (in the first panel) and to shed a light on current dynamics of relations with Slovakia and Czech Republic which oscillate between disinterest and moderate but unfulfilled engagement (in the second).          

09:30 – 10:00              Registration

 10:00 – 10:10              Opening Remarks

 Jan Niklas Engels, Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest Office

Péter Balázs, Director, CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS)  

10:10 – 11.30              Panel I:  Ukraine-Hungary, Ukraine-Poland Track: Relations Strained and Tested

 Chair: Margaryta Rymarenko, CEU Doctoral School of Political Science, Public Policy and International Relations Alumna

Agnieszka Legucka, expert, Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) (TBC)

Hennadiy Maksak, Head of the board, Foreign Policy Council “Ukrainian Prism”

András Rácz, Associate Professor, Pázmány Péter Catholic University, Hungary

Dmytro Tuzhanskyi, National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy, Ukraine  

11:30 – 12.00              Coffee Break

12:00 – 13.20              Panel II: Ukraine-Slovakia, Ukraine-Czech Republic. Potential Undiscovered.  

Chair: Łukasz Janulewicz, researcher, CEU Center for European Neighbourhod Studies

Dušan Fischer, expert,Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Maryna Vorotnyuk, researcher, CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS) 

Ondřej Zacha,expert, Strategic Policy Institute- STRATPOL, Bratislava

Olexia Basarab, expert, Strategic and Security Studies Group (Ukraine)

13:20 – 13:30              Concluding remarks

13:30                           Buffet Lunch


 RSVP with Dr. Maryna Vorotnyuk at