04 October 2022/
On behalf of the International Visegrad Fund, the Deputy Executive Director, Ms Marianna Marianna Neupauerová, attended the 5th Anniversary Reception.
Western Balkans Fund was largely created under the model set by the IVF for the V4 Region, and we feel honoured by the presence of IVF on such an important day for us.
It is a pleasure for me to be here with you tonight on behalf of the International Visegrad Fund.
As mentioned, we have been partnering for quite some time already. But before I start with the obligatory words, I would be sharing a small story from this morning with you if you will allow me.
I flew in this morning, of course from Vienna, and there was an old couple sitting next to me. There was an old man sitting next to the window, in the middle was his wife, and I was sitting at the aisle. It was a very old couple.
Apparently, the old man had enormous difficulties with his knees, so they were already seated, and after a while, he realized that he had a sweater and he wanted to put the sweater in the overhead compartment.
I jumped up, trying to help him out with the sweater to put it up in the overhead compartment. But he didn’t speak any other language than his native. I do not speak your language, unfortunately, so with my hand and eyes, I made him understand that I wanted to help him with the sweater.
He did entrust me with his sweater, I put it up in the compartment, and after some thirty seconds, he barely got up and checked where I put it and whether I put it correctly.
If we value something, if we care about it we take care of it, be it a sweater, be it a partnership, be it anything material or immaterial, be it an idea.
We have, as Visegrad, entrusted the Western Balkans Fund and your Region with the model of the International Visegrad Fund.
Here and there, we come to verify, but I think it’s a good partnership because we care. We care about this Region just as we care about good cooperation.
We also have with our experience continuously, and the team from the Western Balkans Fund has been trusting you knows best that we are actually sharing an experience and also a very bumpy road in the Visegrad. It’s never just ideal, just as it will never be just ideal also here in the Western Balkans.
Partnership means responsibility, and partnership means hard work on both sides. Therefore we are very proud to be here and congratulate you finally on the five very precious years of hard work where you are truly becoming a Regional Organization.
I am proud to see the results of your work, because you are creating new partnerships with Civil Society Organisations and this is what we say is the most important part of your work and of our work to.
I came here today not just to congratulate you. I came here also to encourage you and all of us to keep us going on this bumpy road.
Actually, it was coronavirus that taught us that mankind has not created to stay in bubbles, and I don’t think we should be creating regional bubbles. So I will be very happy to see if there is continuous cooperation here in the Region, and in between our regions, and primarily with the Civil Society.
Thank you very much, and have a nice evening.