The international conference "Tyranny and Hope: The state of Central Europe in the European Union" organised by Republikon and the Hungarian Europe Society, hosted by Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit was held on 10 December 2019 in Brussels.
In the last decade, populist governments in Central Europe moved away from the values of liberal democracy. Hungary’s and Poland’s political leaders have created new illiberal regimes and entered into permanent conflicts with European institutions. Moreover, the spreading of populism in the region and beyond has become one of the most dangerous crises the European Union faces today. The first objective of this conference is to introduce the country report on Hungary elaborated by the Hungarian Europe Society and discuss the future of the Central European countries inside the European Union. Secondly, our invited guests - politicians and experts – will share their thoughts also about political developments since the recent European elections and will analyse how EU institutions, member states, democratic and liberal parties as well as civil organisations should react successfully to the challenges of illiberalism and populism in the European Union.
15:00: Opening Remarks
Andrea Virág, Director of Strategy, Republikon Institute
15:10: Opening Speech: Tyranny and Hope – Hungary under Orbán
István Hegedűs, Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society
15:25: How could the European Union cope with populism in Central-Europe and beyond?
• Bernard Guetta, Member of the European Parliament, Liste Renaissance, Renew Europe
• István Hegedűs, Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society
• Dániel Mikecz, Political Scientist, Republikon Institute
• Katarzyna Mortoń, Civil Society & Media Capacity Builder, Political Commentator
• Michal Šimečka, Member of the European Parliament, Progresívne Slovensko, Renew Europe
Moderator: Erik Uszkiewicz, Vice-Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society
17.15 Closing Remarks
Thomas Ilka, Regional Director of European Dialogue, FNF Brussels
17:30 Buffet Dinner