Mr. Korčok is a career diplomat. He served as Ambassador in Berlin, Washington and as a Permanent Representative to the EU. As “Ministre délégué” he represented the Slovak Republic during the Slovak presidency in the Council of the EU in relation to the EU institutions.
9th June 2020 marked the 20th anniversary of the International Visegrad Fund, set up to promote regional cooperation in Central Europe and between the V4 and other countries. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value of positive neighbourhood and cross-border relations, with Slovakia, Czechia, Hungary, Poland, and Austria working together by choice as much as by necessity. Can this close cooperation maintain its momentum and strengthen Visegrad cooperation in long-term? In what ways can the V4 countries cooperate to ensure that the post-pandemic recovery period benefits the region in monetary as well as structural areas? And what needs to be done to firmly embed the V4 perspective into policymaking on the EU level, on European and global matters?
A Stronger Europe in the World – one of the top priorities of the Von der Leyen Commission. How will this agenda play out after the COVID-19 crisis? The Commission’s manifesto also pledged to promote “responsible global leadership” – a duty that seems to be widely ignored by other influencers of the rules-based international order, including the US and China. Has the time come for Europe to become a truly global leader? For some time now, the EU has worked to expand its influence beyond European borders. Despite the EU’s lofty goals and continued efforts, it is often criticized for being slow, ineffective, and compromised with regard to its international actions. Will this change as the EU faces the largest crisis since its creation? What are the building blocks of the European way of leadership? What will be the legacy of the German Council presidency, and how might this contribute to the EU’s growing international role? Will the EU live up to the expectations of global onlookers and address the far-reaching risks that have been created and exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic?