Do Not Turn a Blind Eye

US Policy Towards Central Europe Needs to Change

1 June 2020

Marcin Zaborowski

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow

America can influence democratic standards in Central Europe more effectively than any other external power. It is high time the United States speaks up about the rule of law and democracy.

The four years of Trump’s administration have coincided with the major drop in democratic standards in Central Europe, to which the United States has remained indifferent.

Today, Hungary is no longer a functioning democracy and Poland is quickly nearing this point. Romania and Bulgaria, both of which are hosting US bases, have violated the rule of law on numerous occasions whilst Czechia, Slovakia and Slovenia have seen their level of corruption rise. Governments are dominated by shady politicians with extensive business interests.

Many countries in the region, Hungary in particular, have started to drift towards the Russian sphere of influence and getting cosy with Beijing. This is encouraging Chinese investments and stops the EU from condemning human rights violations in China.

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Marcin Zaborowski

Visegrad Insight Senior Fellow

is Policy Director at Future of Security Programme at GLOBSEC and an Associate Senior Fellow at Visegrad Insight. In the past Marcin served as Executive Director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) and Vice-President at the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA). Prior to that Marcin worked as Senior Research Fellow at the European Union Institute for Security Studies in Paris. Marcin is a co-author of The New Atlanticist: Poland’s Foreign and Security Policy Priorities and the author of Germany, Poland, and Europe: Conflict, Cooperation and Europeanization.

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