Visegrad– Democratic and foreign policy challenges


Date: 27th October, 2017
Venue: Novotel Budapest Centrum (1088 Budapest, Rákóczi street 43-45.)
Language: English and Hungarian (with continuous interpretation)

10.00-10.10 Opening remarks
        Péter Krekó, director, Political Capital
        János Molnár, project manager, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest

10.10-10.20 Presentation of the key findings of the V4 study
       Edit Zgut, foreign policy analyst, Political Capital

10.20-11.35 Democratic backsliding in the region - different patterns in the V4 countries

Since 2010 Viktor Orbán has completely reshaped the legal, political, economic and media structures in Hungary, and he built a hybrid regime he defines as an “illiberal state” within the European Union. His example has been followed by Law and Justice in several areas in Poland, which aims to establish a power political model similar to that of Fidesz in Poland. At the same time, Robert Fico is trying to move Slovakia closer to the increasingly transforming inner core of the European Union. Regarding the Czech Republic, it is a question whether it will start walking down the illiberal path after its upcoming election? The main question the panel will try to answer is where the Warsaw-Budapest express will stop.

Pavol Demes, non-resident fellow, German Marshall Fund, (SK)
Vit Dostal, director of the Association of International Affairs Research Center (CZ)
Botond Feledy, director, Institute of Social Reflexions (HU)
Wojciech Przybylski, editor-in Chief of Visegrad Insight, chairman of Res Publica (PL)

Moderator: Péter Krekó, Political Capital

11.35-11.50 Coffee break

11.50-14.10 The European Union: obstructing and maintaining illiberal regimes at the same time?

Given the fact that Hungary and Poland, both of which are increasingly in the crosshairs of the EU’s criticism, are among the biggest beneficiaries of EU cohesion funds, the EU is paradoxically one of the main financiers of these regimes. What sort of legal tools does the EU have to discipline government building hybrid regimes? Is disciplining noncompliant member states through economic tools, for example by tying future EU funds to adherence to the EU’s fundamental values, a possibility?

Krisztina Arató, ELTE
András Bozóki, CEU
Zoltán Gyévai, Bruxinfo
Miklós Mitrovits, MTA

Moderator: Edit Zgut, Political Capital

14.10-14.40 Lunch

14.40-16.00 Visegrad in 2017: foreign and domestic challenges

There are a lot of discussion these days on the Visegrad Group’s newly found momentum as well as about the significant strategic foreign policy differences between Visegrad countries. This panel will discuss the unity and relevance of the Visegrad cooperation at the EU level during Hungary’s V4 presidency from the perspective of political actors. The main question of the panel: what could the V4’s role be in the future in the transforming European Union?

Péter Balázs, Central European University
Gyula Molnár, Hungarian Socialist Party
Zsuzsanna Szelényi, MP, independent
Bernadett Szél, Politics Can Be Different
Gábor Vona, Jobbik – Movement for a Better Hungary

Moderator: Edit Zgut, Political Capital

Please kindly reply to this invitation at the following address: by 25th October, 2017.