4 February, 2015 – 14:00 to 15:30

In the late 1980s, the United States supported democratization movements in Central Europe and closely followed nonviolent disruption of local regimes and political systems, as precursors to the end of Cold War. The United States actively contributed to the building of pluralistic democracies, open market economies and the transformation of the whole region into Western-style countries in an effort to stabilize the European continent. After more than two decades, however, the Visegrad region has slipped away from the main attention of the United States. Putting aside the natural reasons of this move, such as the U. S. engagement in other areas of the world, what are the options available to the Visegrad countries to engage American attention to this region again? What are the issues where the interests of the U.S. and V4 overlap? What response strategies are needed to counter existing vulnerabilities of the Visegrad region towards Russia, and what could be the role for the United States in this equation?

Chair of the debate:

Dušan Fischer, Analyst, Research Centre of the Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Panellists:

Daniel Bartha, Executive Director, Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, Budapest

Helena Schulzová, Research Coordinator, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Prague

Marian Majer, Senior Fellow, Central European Policy Institute, Bratislava

Discussion will be held in English.