Banská Bystrica became the venue of the Visegrad Youth Forum for the seventh time. The VYF took place from December 5 to 7 and brought together young academics and experts from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia in discussions. For the first time in the history of the project, accompanying events were held in the capitals of the V4 countries in cooperation with partner organizations. The patronage of the event was taken over by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Miroslav Lajčák.
In addition to the intensive workshop, the main point of the program of this year’s Vyšehrad Youth Forum was a panel discussion on the topic of possible defense cooperation between the countries of the Vyšehrad Group and the future of defense cooperation within the Euro-Atlantic structures. The panel discussion was introduced by Mgr. Marek Lenč, PhD. from the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations, UMB. Experts from the governmental and non-governmental spheres from the countries of the Vyšehrad Four acted as speakers.
The culmination of VYF 2018 was the simulation of negotiations on the topic „PESCO as the future of European defense?“, during which the participants were put in the role of leaders trying to reach a consensus in the case of strengthening European security. The participants „negotiated“ in the Center for Crisis Management (CEKR) of the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of UMB, which is specially equipped for the purposes of this simulation.
This year’s VYF also included a cultural evening, which included a cultural program in the premises of the SNP museum, where participants were introduced to the events on the territory of rebel Slovakia during the Second World War. The cultural evening was also intended to give the participants a closer look at Slovak folk songs and traditions.
The Visegrad Youth Forum is a project organized by the Euro-Atlantic Center in cooperation with the Faculty of Political Sciences and International Relations of Matej Bel University in Banská Bystrica. The seventh year of the Vyšehrad Youth Forum took place thanks to the support of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, the Public Diplomacy Section of NATO, the City of Banská Bystrica, the International Vyšehrad Fund and the Rotary Club of Banská Bystrica.