Historical Background

On the initiative of the Hungarian Prime Minister, top representatives of Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland met in the Hungarian town of Visegrad and on 15 February 1991 adopted the "Declaration on Co-operation Between the Republic of Poland, the Czechoslovak Federal Republic and the Republic of Hungary on the Path for Advancing Towards European Integration". The purpose of the declaration was to mobilise joint efforts for the integration of participating countries in Western European institutions and, through this, to join European political, economic, security and legal systems and look for opportunities for close economic and political co-operation. This fundamental objective includes the consolidation of democracy and the market economy. An understanding on the formation of a free trade area was reached in October 1991.

The Central European Free Trade Agreement was signed on 21 December 1992 in Krakow in Poland and has been applied since 1 March 1993.