Civil Society Struggle For Clean Air

Central Eastern Europe for years has recorded the worst air quality on the continent leading to protests from all parts of society

22 December 2021

Michał Zabłocki

Marcin Król Fellow

What is in the air of democratic struggle against smog?

Every winter the air quality charts note dangerous exceedances of pollutants harmful to human health. The EU already started infringement procedures on air pollution against Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. While the residents of Prague, Bratislava, Budapest and Bucharest won the legal cases on air quality breaches in the national courts.

Sitting on a bench at Normafa Hill in Budapest you can see an ever-growing thick impassable cloud above the city. It’s hard to believe, but most of the low-lying parts of the Hungarian capital drown in smog. 

On a clear day, there’s no problem with observing the Országház (Parliament) or the Vár (Castle) as well as the glimmering waters of the Danube from above. But once the Summer ends, the view fades out to grey. 

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Michał Zabłocki

Marcin Król Fellow

Marcin Król Fellow at Visegrad Insight. Freelance journalist, climate activist as well as a communications and policy consultant; he is also a former foreign correspondent for the Polish press in Moscow, Prague and Bratislava. He focuses on politics, economy, climate and energy in Poland and Central Eastern Europe.

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