Budapest Forum 2022: Ambassadors Roundtable on Sustainable Democracy in the 21st Century



  • E. Ms. Agnese Kalnina, Ambassador of Latvia to Hungary
  • E. Mr. Dag Hartelius, Ambassador of Sweden to Hungary
  • E. Ms. Désirée Boris, Ambassador of The Netherlands to Hungary
  • E. Mr. Paul Leonard Fox, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Hungary
  • E. Mr. Tibor Bial, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Hungary


Moderator: Edit Inotai, Balkan Insight, ARD

Main takeaways:

  • According to the „Democracy Index” of The Economist Intelligence Unit, the state of democracy is at the lowest point since the index was created in 2006.
  • Societies in Central and Eastern Europe have different historical experience with building democratic states & with the authoritarian/totalitarian regimes, so these countries interpret democracy differently than Western European states.
  • Fighting for and having access to objective information are a keyfactors in maintaining democracy.
  • Most of Europe shares the same challenges in aspect of the upcoming winter: inflation, growing prices of energy, diversifying the energy sources.
  • Western & Northern Europe has to deal with its own political threat: The increasingly popular populist and extremist parties are getting in the forefront during the elections. This tendency can be distinctly observed in Sweden, for example.
  • Trust, transparency, accountability are all crucial elements between a country and its citizens. These qualities help to preserve sustainable democracy even when parties with different ideologies take the leadership of a country after an election.
  • Circular economy & economic prosperity contribute to sustainability in terms of environmental protection too.

Policy recommendations:

  • First and foremost, we have to solve the currently most concerning issue: our dependence on Russian gas. All joint efforts are necessary in this respect as well.
  • The Central and Eastern European states must keep on strengthening the democratic institutions such as: free elections, rule of law, democratic judicial systems, human rights initiatives, free media etc. In some respects, the region is still very much lagging behind Western & Northern Europe.
  • We need to search for new approaches to facilitate the spread of misinformation more effectively & sufficiently.
  • Enhancing resilience is quite prosperous for several social sectors. It would be highly beneficial to further bolster these attempts.


+36 20 665-0384
+36 20 665-0384