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Central European Free Trade Agreement

Promoting Free Trade

October 2013, Number 04.04

“In December 1992, representatives of the new democratic governments of Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia met in Krakow, Poland, to sign the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA). Those were exciting times for nations that had suffered nearly a half century of Soviet rule. But they were also times fraught with economic uncertainty and the inherent dangers of societal unrest and instability. CEFTA was implemented to facilitate integration of the three countries into Western European institutions and consolidate democratic government and free market economic reforms.

The agreement was an early centerpiece of the Visegrád Group, an alliance formed by Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia at a historic February 1991 meeting on the banks of the Danube River in Budapest. In 1335, at another historic meeting 50 kilometers north in Visegrád, Hungary, Hungarian King Charles I of Anjou, Bohemian King John of Luxembourg and Polish King Casimir III resolved territorial disputes and forged a 50-year alliance at the Congress of Visegrád. The medieval rulers established Visegrád as a center of regional diplomacy where the rulers and their successors gathered for decades to discuss matters of state...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Promoting Free Trade,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues  4, No. 4, 2013: 22-23.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.