Hungary, European democracy, and the rule of law in the age of geopolitics


Date: 17 May 2023 18:00-19:45

Venue: Central European University, Tiered Room (Nador u. 16, 1051 Budapest, Hungary) or Livestream

Language: English (without translation)


The outbreak of Russia’s war in Ukraine, with its international repercussions, has shaped new geopolitical realities and affected the continent in profound ways. It has put the unity of the European Union to the test and bolstered Member states’ security agenda in all dimensions. But the war in Ukraine is also, and perhaps above all, an ideological front in the global struggle for democracy. The world has indeed recorded a constant erosion of liberal democracy and worrisome surge of authoritarianism in the past ten years, including in Europe, where democratic values and the rule of law constitute the fundamental pillar upon which peace and cooperation have been built. With this ongoing war, the European Union is stepping in a world, in which its role, its interests and ideals will have to be defended. How should the EU balance the need to uphold its fundamental principles with the will to act as a geopolitical actor? How should it square the circle of security and democracy? How can it advance the rule of law more effectively, including in those Member states that stand out for non-complying with its most essential norms? How can it better promote progressive values and democratic standards?

This public discussion will gather experts from France, Hungary, and Austria. It is organized by the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe (Vienna), the French Institute of International Relations (Paris), Political Capital Institute (Budapest), and the Central European University (Budapest).




18:00-18:05       Welcome

Dietmar Schweisgut, Secretary General of the Austro-French Centre for Rapprochement in Europe


18:05-18:20       Keynote speech

Peter Balazs, Emeritus Professor at the Central European University


18:20-19:45       Discussion

Péter Krekó, Director of Political Capital Institute in Hungary

Ursula Plassnik, former ambassador and Austrian Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, Vienna

Jacques Rupnik, Research Professor at CERI-Sciences Po in Paris

Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Visiting fellow at the CEU Democracy Institute, former member of parliament in Hungary

     Moderation: Paul Lendvai, Head of European Studio (ORF), columnist at “DerStandard”


If you would like to attend, please register here.