HomeAustriaForeign Minister Schallenberg Attends Central 5 Meeting in Czech Republic

Foreign Minister Schallenberg Attends Central 5 Meeting in Czech Republic

On 12th April 2022, as part of the “Central 5” (C5) group of countries, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg met with his counterparts from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia in Prague. In addition to the Europe-wide effects of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, their talks also focussed on the Czech Republic’s upcoming EU Council presidency.

The Russian war of aggression in Ukraine and the tense humanitarian situation on the ground, as well as in the immediate neighbouring countries, once again brutally show us the importance of close, neighbourly cooperation,

Foreign Minister Schallenberg underlined the importance of the already 8th meeting within the framework of the C5 and the good cooperation of the five countries in receiving Ukrainian displaced persons and coordinating humanitarian transports to and from Ukraine.

In light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg once again warned about the war’s destabilising effects on other regions in Europe, such as the Western Balkans:

As C5, we agree that we must prevent such developments. The Western Balkans must not become a playing field for foreign powers. The integration of the Western Balkan countries into the EU urgently needs new momentum and credibility – working together as the C5, we will support those efforts,

said Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg.

A first step in this direction was taken by the C5 foreign ministers at yesterday’s meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, where strategic talks on the Western Balkans have been scheduled at EU level for May at the initiative of the C5 countries.

The further alignment of the Western Balkan states with the EU will also be a focus of the program of the upcoming Czech Council Presidency. Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his counterparts also used the C5 meeting to exchange views on the content of the Czech Presidency. In order to provide the best possible support for these preparations, the C5 Foreign Ministers also reviewed the Slovenian Council presidency, which ended in December of last year.

The C5 is an informal platform for dialogue that emerged during the Covid 19 pandemic from intensive contact between the five Central European countries of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. 

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