European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso speaks at a conference in Budapest, Hungary, on June 24, 2014.Hungary handed over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) to Slovakia at a summit meeting in Budapest on Tuesday. V4 is an interest group consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia within the EU. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)
BUDAPEST, June 24 (Xinhua) -- Hungary handed over the rotating presidency of the Visegrad Group (V4) to Slovakia at a summit meeting in Budapest on Tuesday.
V4 is an interest group consists of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia within the EU.
Speaking at a conference organized to conclude Hungary's year-long presidency, EU President Jose Manuel Barroso said every possible measure must be taken to improve living and working conditions, and that includes more efficient use of the EU funds.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, the incoming president, acknowledged that 60 to 80 percent of the investment funds in the V4 countries came principally from EU sources.
Addressing a news conference following a summit meeting later on the day Fico talked about Slovakia's V4 plans. He called for a boost in competitiveness and growth, on energy security, on reinforcing traffic corridors and on defense.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban called measures to improve energy security the most important achievement of Hungary's year in the EU presidency at a news conference.
He underlined Poland's recent proposal to set up an energy union, and the connection built between the Hungarian and Slovak gas pipelines, allowing Hungarian access to non-Russian gas.
Earlier, he called on the Central European countries making up the V4 to speak up on important issues, arguing that Central European growth was the only growth taking place within the European continent.