According to this source (original in Romanian, could not find a better one, yet), Visegrád Group members asked Donald Tusk to not exclude their countries from EU discussions about its future (translated into English from the reference):

The prime ministers of the Visegrad Group, the Hungarian Viktor Orban, the Polish Beata Szydlo, the Slovakian Robert Fico and the Czech Bohuslav Sobotka asked Donald Tusk to "guarantee the free, equal and full participation" of all EU Member States in the debate on the future of the EU, said Polish Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of European affairs, Konrad Szymanski.

Question: Why did they ask for such warranties? Aren't all major decision within EU made with participation of all member countries? Is there any precedent of a major decision being made without consulting all the EU members?

2 Answers 2


Yes, all countries are involved in EU-wide decisions, mostly through their representatives in the Council of the European Union (the UK is already absent from some Brexit-related meetings even though it is still a full member and there is, to my knowledge, no legal basis for this exclusion). Depending on the type of decision, the Council can use majority voting, consent or unanimity but all members are consulted. Some things (changes to the treaties, new trade agreements) also need to be ratified by the member states according to their internal procedure (typically some vote in parliament or a referendum).

But the key words in the declaration is not “participation”, it's “equal and full”. What these countries are concerned about is being reduced to some token participation or presence in formal discussions of take-it-or-leave-it proposals that have already been hashed out elsewhere by the largest countries, as happened very visibly during the Euro crisis in the Spring and Summer 2015 for example.


Poland is about to lose its vote because its ruling party (PiS) is executing a coup against the independent judiciary. Hungary's PM (Mr. Orban) is also on a collision course with the EU over basic human rights.

A secondary effect is that the EU is increasingly seeing Brexit as a blessing. Losing a member may hurt a bit, but the UK has been a complication within the EU for a long time. This has lead quite a few countries (including the V4 themselves) to realize that the EU would benefit even more by removing further obstructionist countries.

Now you can't exactly eject countries from the EU, but forming a "core-EU" without them and then transferring powers from the "big EU" to the "core EU" has the same effect. And as the EU is funded by its members, moving the powers to the "core EU" would also move the funds to that core EU. This is a real threat to the V4.

And in a sense, there is already a "core EU" which does not include any of the V4 countries - the Eurozone, consisting of the EU countries which use the Euro. The threat of being effectively excluded is very real.

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