WITH the main motto “A Dynamic Visegrad for Europe and the World”, Slovakia took over from Hungary the one-year rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries, i.e. Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, on July 1.

“The Visegrad Four is in one of its most productive periods; we are considered to be a respected, effective initiative partner,” Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák told the press on July 1, as quoted by the Pravda daily. “The V4 has become a truly recognised trademark.”

After the elections to the European Parliament and in connection with the subsequent staffing of positions in the European Commission, Slovakia should help to set up communication channels of the V4 with new EU bodies, according to Lajčák. Its presidency should also focus on consolidating public finances, stimulating economic growth and preventing tax evasion and tax fraud in the V4 countries, the SITA newswire reported.

“Finally, our intention is to promote ongoing projects of common interest in the V4 in the field of energy security, transport and defence, which are important for internal cohesion of the entire region of central Europe,” said Lajčák, as quoted by SITA.

Defence Minister Martin Glváč used the first day of Slovakia’s V4 presidency symbolically to present his intention to sign contracts with other V4 countries for military projects, which should bring new jobs. For example, the state DMD Group based in Dubnica nad Váhom, is paying for the general overhaul of Dana howitzers for the Polish Army. The CEO of the group, Viliam Dubovický, said that if they win the order they will create hundreds of jobs, SITA reported.

Lajčák also presented the logo of Slovakia’s V4 Presidency, which was chosen in a student competition. The logo is a red and white dove.

“Instead of turning into a PR agency, we addressed our students,” Lajčák said, as quoted by SITA. “We wanted young people to become aware of the V4. This whole contest cost us less than €1,000.”

The winning designer receives a four-week internship at a Slovak embassy.