Short Description of International Visegrad Fund

About the Fund

The International Visegrad Fund is an inter­na­tional orga­ni­za­tion based in Bratislava founded by the gov­ern­ments of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries—the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, and the Slovak Republic—in Štiřín, Czech Republic, on June 9, 2000.

Purpose

The pur­pose of the fund is to facil­i­tate and pro­mote the devel­op­ment of closer coop­er­a­tion among cit­i­zens and insti­tu­tions in the region as well as between the V4 region and other coun­tries, espe­cially in the Western Balkan and Eastern Partnership regions. The fund operates several grant programs, and also awards individual scholarships, fellowships and artist residencies. Grant sup­port is given to original projects namely in the areas of cul­ture, sci­ence and research, youth exchanges, cross-border cooperation and tourism pro­mo­tion, as well as in other priority areas defined in calls for proposals published on the fund’s website.

Budget

The fund’s annual budget (€8 mil­lion as of 2014) con­sists of equal con­tri­bu­tions of V4 gov­ern­ments. The fund also utilizes (in the form of subgranting or co-financing) contributions from other governments/governmental organizations from the following countries: Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea,Sweden, Switzerland, the United States.

Target groups

Any natural person or legal entity is eligible to apply for grant support with the exception of organizations of state (central) administration institutions. Preference is generally given to those projects submitted by not-for-profit entities (NGOs/CSOs, foundations) and public institutions (schools and universities, research institutes, etc.). Applicants from outside of the V4 region can win support provided that their proposed projects deal with the V4 region and meet all formal requirements, such as having V4 project partners.

Governing bodies

The gov­ern­ing bod­ies of the fund are the Council of Ambassadors and the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs (see further). The exec­u­tive body of the fund is com­posed of the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director. The admin­is­tra­tive body of the fund is the secretariat.

Conference of Ministers

The Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, which con­sists of the Ministers of the Foreign Affairs of the Visegrad Group coun­tries, is the supreme body of the fund. The conference deter­mines the amounts of annual con­tri­bu­tions and their due dates for every V4 member state, approves the rules of pro­ce­dure of the fund’s secretariat, and approves the fund’s bud­get, i.e., annual state­ments and clear­ance of the bud­get pre­sented by the Council of Ambassadors. The Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs des­ig­nates from among its mem­bers its president. This pres­i­dency is rotat­ing in the English alpha­bet­i­cal order of the names of the member states. The Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs adopts res­o­lu­tions unan­i­mously and meets at least once a year in order to esti­mate the imple­men­ta­tion of the tasks set forth in the present statute of the fund. Hungary presides over the Conference of Ministers from January 1–December 31, 2015.

Council of Ambassadors

The Council of Ambassadors con­sists of Ambassadors or Chargé d’Affaires a.i. of the V4 member states accred­ited to the head of the state whose plenipo­ten­tiary cur­rently holds the post of the president of the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs. The Council pre­pares pro­grams for the ses­sion of the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and reports on imple­men­ta­tion of the fund’s operations in the pre­ced­ing year. The council drafts pro­grams and doc­u­ments for the ses­sions of the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, meets at least once every six months to dis­cuss what­ever is nec­es­sary for the imple­men­ta­tion of the objec­tives. The council formally approves projects selected for financ­ing and implementation.