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V4 PARLT SPEAKERS ADDRESS PANDEMIC, DIGITAL SECURITY AT VIDEO CONFERENCE

 

The parliamentary speakers of the Visegrad Group countries discussed the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as well as digital and information security, among other issues in a video call. Elżbieta Witek, speaker of the Polish Sejm, Tomasz Grodzki, head of the Polish Senate, Radek Vondráček, speaker of the Czech Chamber of Deputies, Miloš Vystrčil , head of the Czech Senate, Boris Kollár, speaker of the Slovak National Council, and László Kövér, speaker of the Hungarian parliament, were in agreement that learning from the experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic could help countries be better prepared to deal with any potential future pandemics, the press chief of Hungary’s parliament said. Kövér told his counterparts that Hungary’s vaccination rate was high compared with the European Union average, with more than 33% of the country’s population having received at least one vaccine dose. Hungary has also done a good job mitigating the economic impact of the pandemic, he said. The government has earmarked 16.5 billion euros towards managing the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, which is mainly being used to save jobs, he added. “We trust that Hungary will emerge from the crisis caused by the pandemic with an advantage,” Kövér said. Concerning attacks against digital infrastructures and phishing attacks, Kövér said Europe had an interest in tackling the problem together. Kövér underscored the need for agreements that could constrain states and private entities whose powers rival those of states, which he said posed a security threat. The speakers also adopted a resolution declaring their support of a joint statement issued by the V4 foreign ministers earlier this week in which they stated their solidarity with the Czech Republic, which has recently expelled 18 Russian diplomats over suspicions of espionage.