22nd March 2016

AMO: V4 and the Internal Market: Benelux of the 21st century? - policy paper

Asociace pro mezinárodní otázky (AMO) published their new policy paper V4 and the Internal Market: Benelux of the 21st century? The internal market of the EU is first and foremost to be considered when V4 cooperation is viewed from the bottom-up perspective. The EU internal market has been one of the key instruments in the successful economic transformation of the V4 countries. It provided opportunities for export-oriented growth, facilitated much-needed transfers of technology and managerial methods, and made the region attractive to foreign direct investments. Thanks to the United Kingdom, Ireland and Sweden, the citizens of the V4 could also enjoy free movement of labour force from the first days after accession to the EU and later also in other countries. Poland, and to a lesser extent Slovakia, has been substantially influenced by the free movement of people on the internal market, and in particular by the outflow of its young workforce. 

Not only do the V4 countries have in common the fact that their economies are focused predominantly on the foreign trade; all the four states are also strongly oriented towards the Eurozone, Germany in particular, and there is a high level of mutual trade within the Visegrad Group itself.

Common strategies of the V4 countries could be classified into the following three categories:
A) joining forces in influencing single market integration of the EU at both governmental and sub-governmental levels;
B) proactive pursuing of practical steps that would increase smooth functioning of the internal market among the V4 countries; and
C) consider deeper market integration among the V4 countries.

The policy paper puts forward policy recommendations regarding mutual V4 trade relations and relevance of the EU internal market. The text provides an analysis of mutual trade among the V4 countries and how it is related to the EU internal market. The paper continues by a development of three categories of possible policy actions. The final part sums up outcomes of four workshops with stakeholders from the V4 countries, including representatives of economic journalism, representatives of national public authorities responsible for the internal market agenda,representatives of consumer protection groups and representatives of chambers of commerce. 




Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic