“The V4 as a whole is less important to Germany than the sum of its individual bilateral relationships” – conclude the authors of the paper published by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik.
Each state of the Visegrad group has developed different relationship with Germany. The main differences are visible in issues regarding EU energy security or NATO’s role in European security. The Ukraine crisis is another example of different stances. The study focuses on “Germany’s cooperation with the V4 as a whole, particularly its decisive role in shaping the countries’ EU and NATO accession processes.” Moreover, it examines the bilateral agreements between Germany and its V4 partners as instruments of German foreign policy.
There are some areas, for example Eastern Partnership, where the interests of all the above mentioned states overlap and therefore encourage closer cooperation. Furthermore, V4 states can offer greater support for Germany’s economic vision, including stricter policy of national fiscal prudence. However, the authors conclude that because of the different interests and opinions within the V4 group in some other significant areas, “the V4 as a whole is less important to Germany than the sum of its individual bilateral relationships.”
A. Gawrich, M. Stepanov: German Foreign Policy toward the Visegrad Countries. Patterns of Integration in Central Europe, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik.