President of the Czech Republic wants Austria to join the V4.
As the Visegrad Post states, “The chairman of the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ) and Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache had already said to be in favor of such cooperation during the 2017 legislative campaign, while Christian Democratic Chancellor Sebastian Kurz (ÖVP) was more in favor of Austria being a “bridgehead” between “Germany” in the West and the V4 in the East of the European Union.”
We certainly agree with the above sentiment from the Visegrad Post. In our opinion, Kurz is an opportunist and will often take the road in which he believes will benefit him the most. While we agree with Kurz often, he cannot be relied upon.
However, some say Kurz may have a change of heart now that Germany and France have forged their own EU partnership? Maybe…but we doubt it. With the lack of talent and strong leaders in France and Germany, Kurz, in our opinion, may try to elevate his own role as the new leader of Europe.
In addition, Kurz will not be the only one deciding on V4 membership. While the FPO is solid, Kurz has been unpredictable at times. The leaders (PMs) of Visegrad may even reject this idea.
Yet, eventually, this V4 expansion to include Austria could become a reality. However, for now, we do not expect anything formal. Quite honestly, the V4 works well together in its current form and we prefer to focus on the strengthening of the Three Seas Initiative (12 CEE countries).
The V4 and Austria will continue to work together as allies in areas like migration…so long as Kurz can remember that his true allies reside in Visegrad, not in Berlin or Paris.
Sometimes, Kurz can forget who and what got him elected. It was not Angela Merkel and ‘more EU’.