From left: Milan Fryscak, Ales Pospisil, John K. Glenn, Josef Jarab, Jiri Zlatuska, John S. Micgiel, Vretislav Dancak
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Updated 5/11 HERE

Columbia University - Czech Consulate General - SVU
New Europeans in the EU and Transatlantic Partnership
At the Columbia University School of International & Public Affairs
Josef Schrabal
NEW YORK May 6th, 2004: This Panel discussion was organized by the East Central European Center of Columbia
Milan Fryscak, Ales Pospisil, John K. Glenn, Josef Jarab,

University together with the Czech Consulate General and the SVU (Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences) on 15th floor of the university's International building, 420 West 118th Street in the City of New York.
Panel discussion open with remarks of NYU professor Milan Fryscak, Chairman of the SVU and Czech Consul General Ales Pospisil. Executive Director of the Institute on East Central Europe John S. Micgiel presiding, welcomed all audience and introduced the panel. Opening remarks were limited to 15 minutes but just there it became so interesting that the time doubled, if not more.

The first presentation was by the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security of the Czech Senate Josef Jarab (his homepage HERE) who came to New York from the Czech Republic for this occasion. His remarks extended the subject in every detail. Followed by Czech Senator Jiri Zlatuska, (his homepage HERE) from the Committee on Education, Culture and Human Rights, extended the subject discussion on evaluating the EU, enlargement from the 15 to 25 members and the effect on migration. The only non-born Czech John K. Glenn, Executive Director of university's Council for European Studies elaborated on overall formation on the European continent. The last was presentation by the Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Columbia from the Masaryk University in Brno Bretislav Dancak.
Question from attendees extended the subject on preservation of national identity, foreign policy, national defense, communists in the Czech Republic, evaluation of the EU enlargement in the press (namely NY Times) and most interesting discussion extending the meeting, scheduled till 6:30 P.M. for nearly two hours. It continued after during a reception and refreshments provided by the Czech Consulate.

UPDATE of 5/13

One of the questions asked and then discussed, was how will the EU look like and how it will develop? Will the Germany "Europenaze" or will the EU "Germanize" ? Will it be a melting pot or will it be a mosaic?

Based upon the latest information, in order not only to preserve the individual national identity, but even more, to preserve the regional identity, the EU mosaic is formatting: Here is the just released news (5/13):

Visegrad Four grouping will remain active

Czech Prime Minister Vladimir Spidla was hosting a formal meeting with Marek Belka of Poland, Peter Medgyessy of Hungary and Mikulas Dzurinda of Slovakia in Kromeriz castle, in the east of the Czech Republic on Wednesday [5/12]. The prime ministers of the Visegrad Four countries agreed to continue cooperating within the grouping even as EU member states. "The cooperation of the Visegrad Group will continue and will concentrate on activities and regional initiatives to reinforce the identity of the central European region," they said in a joint declaration. The Visegrad group is a loose economic alliance of four Central European states - the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. It was established thirteen years ago in an effort to strengthen regional contacts and fill the void which emerged after the collapse of the Soviet block. After Czechoslovakia's split in 1993 the V3 became V4 and focused on coordinating efforts on EU and NATO integration. Some commentators say the alliance has become obsolete with the enlargement of the EU, but the prime ministers of the four states said today that maintaining the existing contacts would prove advantageous for all concerned and better enable them to defend their economic interests within the European Union.

They backed further eastern enlargement of the EU, particularly to include Ukraine and the Balkan countries. Poland, Slovakia and Hungary all share borders with Ukraine. But they rejected an enlargement of their own Visegrad-4 Group to include Austria and Slovenia at this time.

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