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.
[PUBLICATION] What Shall I Call You?
Hungarian polarized political landscape, dominated by the illiberal Fidesz-KDNP, poses challenges to the liberal identity. There are self-declared liberals, human rights liberals, and economic liberals. However, as many as 64 percent of Hungarians do not align with liberal values in any way. Still, the term "liberal" is more popular among Hungarians than the actual liberal values. Read on to discover what liberalism truly means in Hungary in a publication of the Republikon Institute, which is a part of the project in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation, 21 Research Centre, and Political Capital.
Far-right actors spread claims of the EU becoming a “military federation”, false narratives about the EU’s Digital Identity are on the rise as well
Far-right figures in Slovakia sow fear about the EU's alleged transformation and the implications of the European Digital Identity. Are these claims legitimate concerns or orchestrated chaos for political gain? Join the investigation into manipulated narratives and the push against mainstream media in a complex information battleground.
Disinformers are criticising the EU’s decisions to advance accession negotiations with Ukraine, the WHO is being labeled as a “dictatorship”
The WHO is negotiating the "Pandemic Treaty" to enhance global readiness for future pandemics, but far-right parties, like Slovakia's Republika, criticise it as a threat to human rights and national sovereignty. The topic of Ukraine is still prevailing in the disinformation scene in Slovakia. Opposition from pro-Kremlin sources to the EU's decision to open accession negotiations with Ukraine includes labelling Ukraine a "failed state" despite positive indicators.
From Poland with Love - October
In the wake of Poland's democratic victory, a seismic shift rocks the political landscape. Though PiS claims the lead, a coalition of Civic Coalition, Third Way, and the Left holds a clear majority. With PiS unable to secure power, President Duda's move defies logic, appointing Mateusz Morawiecki. December holds the promise of a new era with Donald Tusk's as the Prime Minister.
Sanctions against Russia are once again being discredited, Orbán’s meeting with Putin garners support from pro-Russian actors
In a groundbreaking meeting between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Russian President Vladimir Putin, their historic handshake raised eyebrows across Europe. Despite Russia's recent aggression in Ukraine, Putin praised the strong ties with Hungary, while Orbán expressed his commitment to expand communication. While this alliance has sparked criticism from European leaders, it's also gained support, particularly from Slovak actors known for pro-Russian content.
Victory for Democracy in Poland
The fateful elections in Poland on 15 October marked a historic turning point. The long queues in front of the polling stations showed that the citizens longed for change. The national-conservative PiS suffered heavy losses and the pro-European opposition gained force. A new government coalition of KO, Third Way and the left-wing party Nowa Lewica could put the country back on a European course. Despite the challenges, there is hope for a new, democratic and united Poland.
The decision of European socialists to suspend Slovak ruling parties sparks accusations of blackmailing and authoritarianism
In Slovakia, political tension mounts as the Party of European Socialists suspends SMER-SSD and Hlas-SD for forming a coalition with the far-right Slovak National Party. Robert Fico, portrays his party as victims of authoritarianism, but underlying issues include divisive rhetoric on LGBTQ+ rights, nationalities, and migration. The party's pro-Russian sentiments contribute to their "far-right" label. Additionally, political actors intensify their opposition to NGOs, echoing authoritarian practices and raising concerns for Slovakia's democracy.