THE STATE AND FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY IN HUNGARY AND CEE – WAYS OUT OF THE CRISIS
Conference organized by Védegylet (Protect the Future), the One Million for the Freedom of the Hungarian Press Movement and the Heinrich Böll Foundation
Date: 4 October 2012 (13.30 until 21.00)
Venue: Bazaar Klub, Dohány utca 22-24, Budapest
The debates surrounding the far-reaching political reforms introduced by Hungary’s right-wing government (the citizenship and media laws, as well as its new constitution) have opened a space for critical reflection – not only on the current government’s policies, but also on the two decades of democratic construction that preceded them. Védegylet (Protect the Future), the One Million for the Freedom of the Hungarian Press Movement and the Heinrich Böll Foundation would like to seize the opportunity to reflect on the state of democracy in the region and on the prospects for democratic development in Hungary.
What are the main shortcomings of the democratic process in different Central European countries and what are the conditions for democratic renewal in the region, and in particular in Hungary? Is there a chance for increasing citizens’ commitment to democracy and for reaching some kind of minimal consensus on the way forward between actors on different sides of the political spectrum? How can social movements contribute to the reinvigoration of democratic life? These questions will be addressed with the help of participants coming from Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Whereas the first part of the program will be centred around an expert discussion focusing on the state of democracy in the region, the second part will take as point of departure the “Hungarian Octopus”, an on-line communication tool developed with the help of dozens of leading policy experts and designed to highlight the different dimensions of the democratic crisis gripping Hungary. The hope of the project’s initiators and the conference’s organizers is that this interactive and multi-layered problem map will focus public attention on the critical issue of democratic governance and thereby enrich the debate on the desirable path for political development in Hungary and elsewhere.
Invitation and program can be found here.