Mayors of V4 countries' capitals sign Package of Free Cities

The mayors of Bratislava, Budapest, Prague and Warsaw, the capitals of the Visegrad Group (V4) countries, on Monday in Budapest signed a Package of Free Cities, a document in which they pledge to join forces in lobbying for more direct funding from the EU.

The regional V4 organisation is composed of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

In the document, the mayors said they will lobby in the EU for more direct funding for European cities to help them improve such areas as environment, climate, energy, transport and economy.

The city officials also said they will share their best practices in managing their cities with one another.

Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski told PAP at a press conference following the signing of the deal that there was a proposal to channel eight percent of EU funds to cities, with lobbying efforts having been carried out for months in the Eurocities association and through the European Committee of the Regions, the EU's assembly of local and regional representatives.

The V4 capitals' initiative is open to other cities as well, Trzaskowski said.

Other joint initiatives will involve youth exchanges and cultural undertakings, Trzaskowski added.