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2 Minn. J. Global Trade 229 (1993)
The Visegrad Countries of Central Europe - Integration or Isolation

handle is hein.journals/mjgt2 and id is 235 raw text is: Notes
The Visegrad Countries of Central Europe - Integration or
Vincent John Ella
On December 21, 1992 the Visegrad Four' countries of
Central Europe - Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and
Slovakia - signed the Central European Free Trade Agreement
(CEFTA) in Krakow, Poland.2 This new agreement will help
rebuild trade relations within Central Europe and spur eco-
nomic growth in these countries. Ultimately, however, the goal
of each of the Visegrad countries is to join the European
This Note will examine the Visegrad countries' role in the
new dynamics of European trade, and suggest that, while the
new CEFTA is a laudable initiative, the countries of the
Visegrad Four should continue to strive for- full membership in
1. The term Visegrad Three was coined by the press when Czechoslova-
kia, Poland and Hungary met in Visegrad, Hungary in February, 1991 to discuss
cooperation in European integration. At that meeting the parties signed the
Declaration of the Hungarian Republic, the Czech and Slovak Federative Re-
public and the Polish Republic on Cooperation Leading to European Integra-
tion. This Note refers to these four countries (the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Poland and Hungary) as the Visegrad Countries, Visegrad Group, or Visegrad
Four. Before the division of Czechoslovakia on January 1, 1993, they were
known as the Visegrad Three and sometimes referred to as the Visegrad Trian-
gle or Visegrad Troika. See generally Lidiya Kosikova, Eastern Europe: The
Visegrad Triangle - A New Cooperation Structure in Europe, Reuter Textine
Foreign Trade (USSR), Apr. 19, 1992, available in LEXIS, World Library,
Allwld File.
These four countries constitute Central Europe. Eastern Europe refers
to Central Europe plus the Balkan states of Bulgaria, Romania, Albania and the
former Yugoslavia. This Note focuses only on the Visegrad nations of Central
Europe because they have made more progress in reforming their economies
and political systems, and show the most promise for further development. Na-
tions like Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia will likely follow a path similar to
that of the Visegrad Four but at a slower pace. The experience of the Visegrad
Four should be instructive for these other formerly communist countries.
2. See inkfra part II.

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