In 2004, the Central European and Baltic countries joined the European Union as new members. The Prague office seeks to strengthen liberal forces, both political and intellectual, in the region. Our project office particularly supports the 4liberty.eu network, which serves as a centre of competence and a platform for dialogue.
Attacks against mainstream media dominate Slovak information space, military aid to Ukraine is still a prevalent topic
The war in Ukraine is still a popular topic among disinformation actors in Slovak information space. The main narratives include alleged widespread corruption in Western countries and calling for “peace” from supporters of Russia. The decision of the Slovak government to donate MiG-29 fighter jets to the Ukrainian armed forces has also been a prevalent topic of many dubious actors.
From Poland with Love - February
The first anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine dominated the news from Poland in February. The news of the month was clearly the visit of the US President to Poland. Meantime in Belarus, a Polish journalist who reported on the protests against Lukashenko in 2021 was imprisoned. And on a more positive note, Warsaw was named European Best Destination 2023.
From Poland with Love - January
Poland continues its internal fight for money from the European Recovery Fund in 2023, and so far things are not looking very good.The Poles have again asked Western partners for more support for Ukraine, most recently in the form of delivery of modern German Leopard 2 tanks. In contrast, Germany's reluctance to do so has drawn criticism from the Polish side. And surprising news from the society, only 32% of Polish women say they are planning to have children.
Hearts and Minds
The Mathias Corvinus Collegium is a Hungarian organization providing scholarships for studying abroad, organizing events with international speakers and offering interesting study programmes to its students. However, below the surface, it is yet another tool of Orbán's regime, which connects domestic and international actors, who promote the ideology of illiberalism.
Outlook for Hungary 2023
How it is possible that the populist autocrat Orbán won the 2022 parliamentary election despite the economy crisis, the severity of which can be linked with his rule in the preceding ruling period? Which similiarities exist between his rule and communism? How did the EU respond to the rule-of-law backsliding in Hungary? And what are the prospects of Hungary for the year 2023? Eszter Nova tries to answer these questions in her publication "Outlook for Hungary 2023".
Dirty election campaign with a good ending?
After ten years, the Czech Republic will have a new president: Retired General Petr Pavel clearly won the run-off election against former Prime Minister Andrej Babiš. His victory is good news for the country's pro-Western development. After years of dividing society under outgoing President Miloš Zeman, who was known for his love of Russia and China, the new president will have his hands full in bringing together the currently highly polarised society and charting a new course.
The Czech Republic is looking for a president
Since 2012, the Czech president has been directly elected by citizens in two rounds of voting. Czechs enjoy this right to vote and the last presidential election in 2018 saw the highest turnout in a national election in 20 years. Thus, the presidential election has become a great show that people discuss for months and years ahead, arousing great emotions. The bookmakers are sure about the winner of the election, the polls are groping in the dark and a third of the voters are still undecided. So what can we expect in the first and second rounds of the presidential election?