The Future of Democracy and the Summit for Democracy from the Perspective of a Hungarian NGO
- a hybrid conference organised by the Hungarian Europe Society -

Date: 26 November 2022, Saturday
Venue: Online via Zoom and in-person at the Ibis Styles Budapest Center, Budapest, 1074 Rákóczi út 58.

Please REGISTER here for online and here for in-person participation by 23 November 2022, Wednesday.

Please note, that the number of participants is limited to 30 persons for the in-person event. 

We live in turbulent, uncertain, challenging times. The rapid changes in our physical, social, cultural and political environment create instability in the lives of citizens and independent civil organisations, whilst anti-democratic tendencies put heavy pressure on liberal democratic systems and institutions at local, national, regional and federal levels. In spite of their geographic distance, social and political polarisation combined with tribalism and the widespread circulation - often in dominant position - of populist, illiberal views can be detected both in Hungary and the United States of America. Meanwhile, the European Union faces multiple crises and a necessary institutional renewal in order to strengthen its global relevance.

Liberal democracy has been under attack worldwide in an era of increasing international geopolitical race between the democratic Western world on the one side and some strengthening (semi)-authoritarian regimes on the other. The aggression of the Russian President against the sovereign state of Ukraine is an attack against the liberal world order and our universal values. In recent times China has also become a serious concern for the democratic political actors. One of the biggest exercises to bring together like-minded states and political actors has become the Summit of Democracies, invented by the Biden administration in 2021. The initiative goes beyond transatlantic relations and NATO regarding its more ambitious scope.

This conference intends to contribute to the global dialogue on the future of liberal democracies and a rule-based international order.


List of speakers


9.30 – 10.15 In-Person Registration and Start of the Online Broadcast

10.15 – 10.30 Introduction
István Hegedűs (Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society, Budapest)          

10.30 – 12.00 Morning Session: The Future of Europe in a New Era of Global Conflicts
Moderator: István Hegedűs (Chairman, Hungarian Europe Society, Budapest)

Yannis Karamitsios (Author of “Time for a European Federation” published by Peter Lang in 2021; Founding Member of Alliance 4 Europe, Brussels): The Future of the European Union and the EU’s Place in a New World (Dis)order from a Federalist Perspective
Adam Balcer (Program Director, College of Eastern Europe, Wroclaw): The Future of Central Europe inside the European Union under New Geopolitical Threats
Paulina Fröhlich (Leiterin, Resiliente Demokratie, Das Progressive Zentrum, Berlin): Citizens’ Participation and Democracy in the European Union
Bernd Holznagel (Professor, Director of the Institute for Information, Telecommunications and Media Law, University of Münster): The State of Media Pluralism and the Initiative of the European Commission

12.00 – 14.00 Break

14.00 – 15.30 First Afternoon Session: Towards a New Geopolitical Reality
Moderator: Monika Pál (Member, Hungarian Europe Society, Budapest) 

Jackson Janes (President Emeritus of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Senior Fellow, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Washington DC): The Future of Transatlantic Relations and the Biden Initiative on the Summit for Democracy (online presentation)
Julia Keutgen (Programme Manager, Supporting Team Europe Democracy Project, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance’s Europe Programme, Brussels): The Summit for Democracy: How to Bring Together Like-minded International Actors (online presentation)  
Dóra Győrffy (Professor, Institute of Economics, Corvinus University, Budapest): The Consequences of Putin's Aggression against Ukraine on the Western World and Russia
István Gyarmati (President, International Centre for Development and Democratic Transition, Budapest): The Future of NATO in a New Global Political Constellation

15.30 – 16.00 Coffee Break

16.00 – 17.45 Second Afternoon Session: The Authoritarian Challenges to Liberal Democracy
Moderator: Erik Uszkiewicz (Vice-chairperson, Hungarian Europe Society, Budapest)

Nina Basok (Dialogue and Citizens’ Engagement Expert, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit - Ukraine, Junior Fellow, Visegrad Insight, Brussels): The Future of Ukraine and the Post-Soviet Regions
Szabolcs Panyi (Journalist, Direkt36, Budapest): The Political and Financial Methods of the Orbán Government to Increase Its Global Influence (online presentation)
Heino Nyyssönen (Docent, Contemporary History, University Lecturer, Political Science, University of Turku): Hungarian “Illiberalism” and Its Impact Worldwide
Garwan Walshe (Co-Founder, Unhack Democracy, Brussels): Populist/Authoritarian Threats to Liberal Democracy and How to React at European and National Levels
R. Daniel Kelemen (Professor of Political Science, Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Politics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ): The Challenges of (Semi)-authoritarian Regimes to the International Democratic Community (online presentation)

17.45 Farewell Remarks
- Elina Morhunova (NextGen Leader of Ukraine, International Business Lawyer, Geopolitics & Energy Expert, Geneva)


This conference as the main part of the project entitled “The Future of Democracy and the Summit for Democracy from the Perspective of a Hungarian NGO” is supported by the Embassy of the United States of America in Budapest.

The conference will be video recorded for archival, educational and related promotional purposes. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to the video recording.

Please note that the language of the event is English and no translation will be provided.