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Visegrad Youth Forum 2021

In the days from 2.-3. December 2021, the 10th edition of the Visegrad Youth Forum took place. The project took place in cooperation with partner organizations from the V4 countries and Austria, and the patronage of the conference was taken over by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic, Ivan Korčok. Despite the fact that this year, due to the unfavourable pandemic situation, the project was implemented online, its goals were achieved. This year, too, the Visegrad Youth Forum gave students from the V4 countries and Austria the opportunity to lead a discussion on the future of Central European cooperation and thereby actively contribute to its formation.

The project consisted of two parts. The first part of the project was aimed at deepening the knowledge of the participants about the V4 format and its functioning. With the help of e-learning, the young leaders had the opportunity to discuss the 30th anniversary of this grouping with experts from V4 and Austria, and at the same time evaluate the past 30 years from the perspective of individual countries.

The second part of the project was a two-day conference, which consisted of a panel discussion, workshops and a simulation of the meeting of the North Atlantic Council. The panel discussion was opened by the deputy executive director of the International Visegrad Fund, Marianna Neupauerová, who, together with other speakers from the V4 countries and Austria, in addition to evaluating 30 years of Visegrad cooperation, also outlined the topic of its future development, which enabled the project participants to prepare for the next part of the program. During the second part of the workshop, the participants addressed the future of the Vyšehrad Group, as well as the possibility of its potential expansion.

The simulation, as the last part of the project, allowed the students to try out the role of delegates of the meeting of the North Atlantic Council countries, with the aim of finding solutions to the most current security issues, such as the fight against the pandemic, hybrid threats or migration and climate change.

The organizer of the Visegrad Youth Forum is the Euroatlantic Center, an independent Slovak non-governmental organization bringing together young professionals and students from the field of international relations, foreign and security policy, in cooperation with partner organizations Forum of Young Diplomats from Poland, House of European Affairs and Diplomacy from Hungary, Junior Diplomat Initiative from the Czech Republic and the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe from Austria. The project was financially supported by the NATO Public Diplomacy Section and the Visegrad International Fund.