European Café: New Dimensions

The relationship between the Visegrád Four and France.


The election of French President Emmanuel Macron last summer created new expectations towards the revitalisation of the French-German engine and a reformed leadership of the European Union. In this context, the V4 countries need to find ways to recalibrate their relationship with France in order to defend their own interests. The developments toward of a multi-speed Europe, the divergence on economic, social or security issues may hamper the functioning of the V4 and pose a challenge to its unity and common interests.

Which policy issues can provide a common platform for the V4 and France? Can the region and especially Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic overcome its traditional distance from Paris? Are there issues which resonate with specific V4 states? Which are the most important differences, and can they be reconciled?


Max-Olivier Gonnet, Deputy director for Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltic States, Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, France

Martin Michelot, Deputy director, EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, Czech Republic

Pál Péter Schmitt, Director General, EU Coordination, Institutional and Legal Affairs, State Secretariat for the EU Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister of Hungary

The event will be moderated by Edit Inotai, Senior Fellow, CEID Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy, Hungary

The event will be in English. Please note that the Chatam House Rule will apply at the event.

Since seats are limited, we would urge you to register. In case of questions related to this event, please contact Noémi Matis at

Cover picture: Statue of Liberty, Budapest, Hungary. Photo: (CC BY-SA 4.0) Hu Totya; The flag of the European Union, Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) MPD01605; Montage.

European Café

The Centre for Euro-Atlantic Integration and Democracy (CEID) has launched a series of discussions on current European issues, supported by ERSTE Foundation and the National Cooperation Fund (NEA). It aims to discuss vital challenges of the European integration from a Hungarian perspective. Its purpose is to organise constructive and open debates about our common European future by inviting politicians and experts from and beyond Hungary.

The discussion on “New Dimensions – The relationship between the V4 and France” is co-organized with EUROPEUM Institute for European Policy, The French Institute and the Embassy of France to Hungary in the framework of EUROPEUM’s “Charting a new path for a reinforced and improved V4-France cooperation” project.

Florian Bauer

Director Social Finance, Sustainability and Innovation
Since 2023, Florian Bauer has been responsible for social finance, sustainability and social innovation at ERSTE Foundation. Prior to this role, Florian worked in the NGO & Social Entrepreneurship sector for more than 13 years. He led the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an international multilateral NGO that works to accelerate market-based deployment of renewable energy and energy efficient systems in developing countries, and was Managing Director & COO of the Impact Hub Vienna. From 2020-2023, Florian established strategic alliances with key partners and helped to create innovative semantic technology solutions at Semantic Web Company (SWC), a leading IT company in semantic AI solutions.