Slovak Post issued a stamp designed by the four member countries of the Visegrad Group (also known as the Visegrad Four, or V4) on the Slovak Ambassador to V4’s initiative, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of establishment of this alliance of four Central European countries, i.e. Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.
The idea of the V4 alliance derives from a meeting of the Czech, Polish and Hungarian rulers in Visegrad, Hungary in 1335. Charles I of Hungary, Czech king John of Luxembourg, and Casimir III of Poland entered into an agreement of a close cooperation in political and commercial affairs, and of eternal friendship. This agreement inspired the next successful Central European initiative established 656 years later.
The present group was formed on February 15th, 1991 (ten days before the end of the Warsaw Pact) at a meeting of Hungarian Prime Minister József Antall, Czechoslovak President Václav Havel, and Polish President Lech Wa??sa in Visegrad, as the so-called Visegrad Three group. The politicians signed a declaration of a close cooperation of the three Central European countries on their way to the European integration.
The countries saw their cooperation in the era after the collapse of the Communist regime as vital for transition from the totalitarian system to a free, plural and democratic society. The group became known as the Visegrad Four (V4) after the split of Czechoslovakia into the successor states Czech Republic and Slovakia; both states became members of the alliance.
Three of the V4 member countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, joined the NATO in 1999. Slovakia followed in 2004. The foreign policy activities of the four countries further merged after their accession to the European Union on May 1st, 2004. The group’s core activities, including programmes under the Regional Partnership with Austria and Slovenia or the V4+ concept with other Central and Eastern European countries, focus on cooperation and stability in a broader Central European region.
Title: 20 Years of the Visegrad Group – Czech Republic
Date of Issue: 11 January 2011
Country: Czech Republic
Denominations: 20 CZK