Eastern Europe Goes South?

2020-01-12

Central Eastern Europe and the integration of the Western Balkans - Public conference in Budapest

 

Date: 5 February, 2020, 14.00-17.00

Venue: Central European University, Budapest, 15 Nádor street, Tiered Room

The political interaction of Central Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans is an increasingly important issue. As Jan-Wermer Müller described a few years ago, political tendencies in Central Eastern Europe makes the region more similar to the Western Balkans than before. These are endemic nepotism and corruption, deteriorating democratic institutions and the spread of illiberal practices, and the primacy of identity politics,  nationalism  and tribalism over policies.  After  Eastern Europe, started to get bored with the imitation of the West - as Ivan Krastev, a speaker of our event underlines - models from the East and South seem to become more attractive.

At the same time, CEE countries, especially Hungary, trying to exert influence on the Western Balkans through media acquisitions, political consultancy, and investments. Generally, Central Eastern Europe is strongly supportive of the EU integration of the non-EU members of Western Balkans, in the hope that they strengthen their alliances within the EU, extend their political sphere of influence, and make EU integration more extensive but less intensive. The enlargement commissioner of the new Commission, delegated by Hungary, gives additional weight to the region when it comes to EU- Western Balkans relationship.

This public event, co-organized by Political Capital Institute, Europe’s Futures Program of IWM and Erste Foundation, and CEU CENS, would deal with the following broad topics:

  • What impact the CEE region plays in the Western Balkans, and the other way round?
  • How CEE countries (especially Hungary) want to exert influence on the Western Balkans?
  • How can CEE countries help in the EU-integration of the non-EU members in the WB?
  • How identity politics and “tribal politics” emerge in Central Eastern Europe?
  • What impact other superpowers (Russia, United States, China) has in the region’s (non)democratic developments?

 

14:00-14:15        Opening Remarks

Péter Balázs, Director, Central European University Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS)

Ivan Vejvoda, Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM)

 

14:15-15:30         Roundtable 1: Eastern Europe Goes South? The interests of Central Eastern Europe in the Western Balkans

Péter Balázs, Director, Central European University, Center for European Neighborhood Studies (CENS)

Ivan Krastev, Permanent Fellow, IWM

Péter Krekó, Director, Political Capital Institute; Europe’s Futures Fellow, IWM/ERSTE Foundation

            Moderator: Valerie Hopkins, Financial Times

 

15:30-16:45        Roundtable: EU policies towards the Western Balkans and Western Balkans policies towards the EU

Hedvig Morvai, Director, Strategy and Europe, Erste Foundation

József Pandur, former Ambassador of Hungary to Belgrade and to Sarajevo

Corina Stratulat, Head of European Politics and Institutions Programme and Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre

Ivan Vejvoda, Permanent Fellow, Institute for Human Sciences (IWM)

         Moderator: Péter Krekó, Political Capital; Europe’s Futures Fellow, IWM/ERSTE Foundation

 

17:00-17:30       Reception

Please kindly reply to this invitation by 4 February, 2020 at the following link:

https://forms.gle/jpK8NSxxrWnvt4geA

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