Long-Term Strategies Assessment of the Visegrád Group Countries

The creation of an adequate economy-wide strategy is crucial from the point of planning and governance of climate policy in individual countries over a longer period of time. Its objective is to demonstrate a holistic economic perspective, to bind detailed sectoral strategies exhibiting the state of the economy in relation to climate ambitions and to present the relative effort needed in individual sectors, sectoral interdependencies and the distribution of enabling policies and measures. The strategy also strengthens regulatory stability, which reduces  investment uncertainty and enables a forward-looking perspective for addressing the impacts of the transformation.

In this report, the focus is set on the four members of the so-called Visegrád Group – namely Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland - which is a formal alliance formed in 1991. Its initial objective stood for mutual support on entering EU and NATO structures which has evolved into further cooperation. Today, it is a platform for sharing best practices regarding membership in the EU and debating current issues, as well as advancing cooperation in education, science, cultural, economic, and energy.

At the Polish Presidency in 2020-2021, V4 countries announced more intense collaboration within the energy sector including a common position at the EU level concerning the Just Transition in coal regions and a regulatory framework for the natural gas market. Other goals are covered by the implementation of the "Clean Energy for all Europeans" package, which facilitates the common electricity energy market, supports innovative technologies, and extends research on low-carbon nuclear power, hence the comparative analysis of individual long-term strategies can be a good point of reference for further discussions in the Visegrád Group, in the region of Central and Eastern Europe and the entire European Union.

This report presents the assessment and the above-mentioned comparative analysis of the Visegrád Group countries LTSs, and aims at identifying best practices and weaknesses of these strategies. Based on the findings, the analysis also provides the guidelines ahead of the upcoming update, which, in line with the Governance Regulation, should be done every 5 years, if necessary. However, after the regulation was adopted in 2018, European Council committed to the climate neutrality goal in 2050, increasing the ambition to reduce emissions by 55% until 2030 as part of the Fit for 55 package. Tightening EU climate and energy policy, the COVID-19 pandemic and the creation of NextGenerationEU for green recovery means that most strategies will need to be updated. 

The Visegrád Group presents moderately similar approaches to strategy development, creating a document based on quantitative economy-wide models, however, the documents differ in the degree of detail of the individual parts and in their structure. The quality of the document is also affected by the date of its adoption: Poland (draft) or Hungary may have benefited from a late adoption, having had more time and feedback from earlier strategies. There is also growing need for a more extensive and far-reaching approach as a result of more stringent climate policy.

Long-Term Strategies Assessment of the Visegrád Group Countries
Krzysztof Kobyłka, Aleksander Śniegocki, Kamil Laskowski (WiseEuropa)
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