Project: EU Perspectives on Democratic Security in V4

Debates, analysis and media network in partnership with the European Parliament

1 June 2022

A joint effort from media partners across the region to enhance the visibility and communicative performance of key voices in the EU Parliament focused on the Visegrad Region.

 

Visegrad Insight and the Res Publica Foundation together with a Central European media consortium: Res Publica Nowa, Onet.pl, DennikN.sk, Denik.cz and Telex.hu run a joint project engaging public debate and members of the EU Parliament on the topic of democratic security.

The collective programme aims to increase public awareness among the Visegrad Group countries on the roles and democratic values of the EU in the light of the priorities and activities of the European Parliament and its elected members.

EU Focus

In order to foster this transnational debate on EU issues, our network of large scale media across the region curates content that is available in all Central European languages.

The core focus of the project is to offer solid journalism and open discussion in response to the deteriorating state of public debate and to counteract the lack of information sovereignty, limited trust in democratic institutions and political polarisation undermining support for democratic values in the region.

The project also aims to bring together EU representatives (MEPs), journalists and a new generation of civil society as well as facilitate networking opportunities for civil society leaders, accomplished journalists and researchers with MEPs and European Parliament representatives through common activities, interviews, debates (public and online) and podcasts in order to empower the dissemination of information.

We will contribute to the most pressing deliberations in Brussels, for example on the reverberations of the COVID-19 epidemic, the Green Deal, energy security, equality and solidarity, the MFF and the Rule of Law to facilitate public engagement and informed decisions.

The key objectives of the project  include:

  • Supporting and boosting European priorities and values;
  • Increasing awareness and information about European affairs and the work of MEPs in Central Europe
  • Assuring regular supply of reliable, pluralistic and multifarious information on the European Union
  • Amplifying and promoting a wide public debate on matters of import to the EU
  • Engaging the voices of opinion leaders and EU representatives who stand up for common European values and viewpoints;
  • Amplifying regional and in-country dialogue about key topics of European debates via a network building of authors and contributors in CE.

Articles:

  • Marianna Biro, 8.06.2022, Orbán’s new EU—friendly Appointment, in English at Visegrad Insight, and in Hungarian at HVG and in Polish in Onet and Res Publica.
  • Luboš Palata in conversation with Czech Minister of EU Affairs Mikuláš Bek, 3.06.2022, Czechs Will Take the Energy Transition Seriously During their Presidency, in English at Visegrad Insight, in Czech at Denik, and soon in Polish at Onet and in Res Publica;
  • Márton Balázs, 19.05.2022, Fidesz Went All in for the Conference on the Future of Europe, but the Excitement Changed to Anger, in English at Visegrad Insight, in Hungarian at Telex, and in Polish at Res Publica and Onet;
  • Luboš Palata, Hungarian Passports are a Trap for Ukrainian Roma, in English at Visegrad Insight, in Czech at Denik, and soon in Polish;
  • Márton Balázs, 19.05.2022, Fidesz Has Been the EU’s Orphan for a Year, but It Still Votes With Its Old Party Family, in English at Visegrad Insight, in Hungarian at Telex, and soon in Polish at Res Publica and Onet.
  • Rastislav Kačmár, 17.05.2022, interview with Finnish MEP Alviina Alametsä on Finnish accession to NATO, available in Slovak DennikN, and soon in English at Visegrad Insight and in Polish at Onet and Res Publica
  • Luboš Palata, 28.04.2022, Divergent Strategies For EU Funds, in English at Visegrad Insightat Denik.cz in Czech, and in Res Publica and Onet in Polish.
  • Luboš Palata, 5.04.2022, Temporary Protection Is Not a Permanent Solution, at Denik.cz in Czech, at Visegrad Insight in English
  • Körömi Csongor, 2.04.2022, Two Years Ago Orbán Called the EU Loan Plan the Second Soros Plan, Now He Has Signed Up to It – The roundabout way to EU funds, in Visegrad Insight in English, in Hungarian in Telex, and in Polish at Res Publica and Onet.
  • Marcin Zaborowski, 25.03.2022, What is New in the Strategic Compass, in Visegrad Insight in English, and soon in Polish at Res Publica and Onet.
  • Marcin Zaborowski, 16.03.2022, Will Ukraine join the EU? in Visegrad Insight in English, and at Res Publica and Onet in Polish.
  • Marianna Biro, 14.02.2022, Before ECJ ruling, Telex.hu in Hungarian, at Visegrad Insight in English
  • Rastislav Kačmár, 16.02.2022, on Lithuania-Chinese conflict: Today It Is Lithuania, Tomorrow It Might Be Someone Else, available at Dennik N in Slovak, and soon in English at Visegrad Insight and in Polish at Res Publica and at Onet.
  • Csongor Körömi, 26.01.2022, Acting Intelligently: The Hungarian Legal Way, Telex.hu in Hungarian, at Visegrad Insight in English and in Polish at Res Publica
  • Luboš Palata, 25.01.2022, Bad Omens for the Czech Republic, at Denik.cz in Czech, at Visegrad Insight in English
  • Rastislav Kačmár, 19.01.2022, We Need to Be Serious About Rule of Law, at Dennik N in Slovak, at Visegrad Insight in English
  • Palata, Luboš, 16.12.2021, How Czech Regions Design Their Future with the Just Transition Fund, at Denik.Cz, in English at Visegrad Insight, and at Onet.pl in Polish;
  • Marcin Zaborowski, 15.12.2021, Central Europe Afraid of EU’s Paper Tigers. Strategic Compass and Its Implications for the Region, in English at Visegrad Insight, and in Polish at Onet.pl
  • Marianna Biro, Veronika Munk, 14.12.2021, We would be ready to act as soon as we can. Media Freedom High On The Agenda – interview with Věra Jourová – at Visegrad Insight, in Hungarian at Telex, and in Polish at Onet.pl
  • Mirek Toda, 2.12.2021, EU Should Know Putin Plays A Game Of Chicken. A Slovak version of this article is available at “DennikN” and in Polish at Onet.pl.
  • Wojciech Przybylski, 19.11.2021, A Political Gamble On Tragedy. Available in Hungarian at Elet Es
  • Rastislav Kačmár, 11.11.2021, EU Principles Conflict with Chinese Policies – An Interview with Czech MEP Markéta Gregorová. A Slovak version of this article is available at Dennik N, and the Polish version is available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Rastislav Kačmár, 21.10.2021, The Big European Brainstorming. European Citizens from All of the EU are coming together in Strasbourg to discuss the Future. A Slovak version of this article is available at Dennik N, and the Polish version is available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.pl
  • Palata, Luboš, 1.10.2021, Czech Television Will End If ANO Rules – An Interview with former Czech Minister of Justice Jiří Pospíšil. Published in English on Visegrad Insight,  in Czech at Deník as “Česká televize skončí, jestli bude vládnout ANO, říká exministr Pospíšil”, and in Polish on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Jakubowska, Magda. 10.8.2021, A Call For Pragmatism: interview with Ivan Hodac. Published in English on in Polish on res Publica Nowa and Onet, and in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Körömi Csongor, 11.08.2021, Legislative Trauma. The Dutch Ambassador to Hungary: The Anti-LGBTQ-law Causes Anguish in Hungarian Families. Published in English at Visegrad Insight, in Hungarian at Telex, in Polish at Res Publica and Onet.
  • Przybylski, Wojciech, 11.8.2021, No Holiday for the Media and Democracy in Poland. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, in Hungarian on Telex and in Polish on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Tóda, Mirek, 13.7.2021, Attacks on the Free Press. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, in Slovak on Denník N, in Polish on Onet and Res Publica Nowa.
  • Palata, Luboš, 2.7.2021, Eye of the Beholder. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, in Czech on Denik.cz., in Polish on Onet and Res Publica Nowa.
  • Strzelecki, Mark, 28.6.2021, Hungary’s Hazy RRF Plans. Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Strzelecki, Marek, 22.6.2021, The Cognitive Dissonance of Poland’s Green Agenda. Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Strzelecki, Marek, 18.6.2021, Will Czechia Realise Its Potential with the Green Transition? Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Strzelecki, Marek, 15.6.2021, Slovakia’s Green Lead. Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Strzelecki, Marek, 15.6.2021, Visegrad Four on a Bumpy Road to Clean Recovery Targets. Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Biró, Marianna, 10.6.2021, We Need EU Money, but Only If We Can Spend It the Way We Want. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, a Hungarian version of this article is available at Telex, and Polish versions on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Przybylski, Wojciech, 31.5.2021, The Conference on the Future May Divide Europe. Published in English on Visegrad Insight.
  • Rafalska, Dominika , 17.5.2021, The Unseen Experience of Physical and Sexual Violence in Central Europe. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, Polish versions are available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Tóda, Mirek, 10.5.2021, What Went Wrong in Prague? Only Five Countries Expelled Russian Spies after Vrbětice. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, a Slovak version of this article is available at Denník N, Polish versions are available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Palata, Luboš, 29.4.2021, Clear EU Verdict – Babiš Is Not Allowed to Receive Subsidies. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, a Czech version of this article is available at Deník, and Polish versions are available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Tóda, Mirek, 26.4.2021, Confucius Institute Threatens Critics of China. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, a Slovak version of this article is available at Denník N, and Polish versions are available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Jakubowska, Magda, 21.4.2021, Working towards a Union of Equality. Published in English on Visegrad Insight, Polish versions are available on Res Publica Nowa and Onet.
  • Biró, Marianna, 8.4.2021, Tamás Deutsch: Some Hope Orbán Will Live Forever But Even He May Not Succeed. Published in English on Visegrad Insight here, and the original Hungarian version of this article is available at Telex, as well as a Polish version on Res Publica Nowa.
  • Przybylski, Wojciech, 11.3.2021, The EU Has Competences to Deal with Media Freedom: An Interview with Michal Šimečka MEP. Published in English on Visegrad Insight and a Polish version of this article is available at Onet.

Briefings with MEPs in Brussels:

  • 2.3.2022, Roundtable on Ukraine and Western Balkans, with MEPs: Thomas Waitz; Tudorache Dragos, Edyta Skóra-Aubert (office of MEP Saryusz-Wolski), and Szabolcs Szalay (office of MEP Márton Gyöngyösi).
  • 3.3.2022, Roundtable on the present-day Rule of Law Dynamics in CEE, with MEPs: Róża Thun, Sergey Lagodinsky, Igor Merheim-Eyre (office of MEP Miriam Lexmann), Beata Borkowska (office of MEP Łukasz Kohut), Edyta Skóra-Aubert (office of MEP Saryusz-Wolski), Nora Mandry and Pina Witt (office of MEP Daniel Freund), and Michał Matlak (office of MEP Bernard Guetta).
  • 29.3.2022, Roundtable on Hungarian elections – expected outcomes and scenarios for the EU, with open remarks delivered by Katalin Cseh, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Renew Europe Group, and by Wojciech Przybylski, editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight, the main analysis and media platform on democratic security in CEE, to consult the significance of the outcomes of the elections in Hungary for Central Europe and for the EU, at the eve of the general voting. 
  • 30.03.2022, Roundtable on Ukraine war and refugee crisis – CEE perspective, with open remarks delivered by Katalin Cseh, MEP and Vice-Chair of the Renew Europe Group, and expert inputs from Oana Popescu-Zamfir, head of the GlobalFocus Center think-tank in Romania,  and  Wojciech Przybylski, editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight, the main analysis and media platform on democratic security in CEE, to consult the current and future consequences of the war in Ukraine, and bringing together: MEP Bernard Guetta, MEP Dragos Tudorache, Miriam Lexmann, MEP, and Igor Marnhein-Eyre, Martin Ondráček (the office of MEP Michaela Šojdrová), assistant to MEP Miroslav Číž, Kateryna MUSIIENKO (office of MEP Andrius KUBILIUS).
  • 14.06.2022, Roundtable on the Future of Europe Conference and the CEE perspective on it, with the attendance of MEP Viola von Cramon-Taubadel, and the group of CEE media and experts including Roland Freudenstein (GLOBSEC), Daniel Hegedus (GMF US), Anton Shekhovtsov (Centre for Democratic Integrity), Lubos Palata (EU Editor at Czech Denik), Wojciech Przybylski (Visegrad Insight), Jana Jouzova (EUROPEUM) Institute, Kevin Kaiser (European Forum Alpbach).

Debates:

Podcasts:

  • 11.3.2021 With judicial cooperation in the European Union on the verge of a breakdown because of continuing doubts about Poland’s judicial system and a recent government-led takeover of local and regional media, many are expecting the European institutions to step in and put a stop to democratic backsliding and threats to the rule of law. Whether it is the European Court of Justice or the European Parliament, what means are available to bring a country back in line? We discuss a recent analysis by Visegrad Insight Fellow Jaras Gwizdak concerning the European Arrest Warrant and highlights from our last monthly foresight. Slovak MEP Michal Šimečka joins us to discuss the LIBE committee agenda and what the European Parliament is planning to do about media freedom. Listen here.
  • 12.8.2021 Belarus – 1 year of (r)evolutionListen here.
  • 20.8.2021 No Holiday for CEE Populists: The severe situation in Afghanistan has been the focal point of global media and public opinion throughout the last week. Meanwhile politicians in Central Europe are going about their business as usual. In this episode, Wojciech Przybylski and Marysia Ciupka summarise the so-far response of the CEE states toward the crisis in Afghanistan, talk about what will happen to the controversial media law in Poland, and wonder what future awaits Czechia following the October 2021 elections. Listen here.
  • 9.9.2021 Poland Introduces State of Emergency, and the Controversial Media Law Vetoed: CEE returns to school with some of the slowest vaccine rollouts among EU countries. Elections In Poland are postponed this year due to a declared state of emergency, but the political scene remains far from stable. The Polish government is likely to use the crisis on the border with Belarus to improve chances of survival while President Andrzej Duda is expected to veto the LexTVN law to salvage relations with the US. Simultaneously, the Zapad 2021 exercises are spooking Poland, Lithuania and Latvia, but over-exaggerated narratives may play into the hands of Belarus and Russia. Meanwhile, divisive issue over Afghanistan reinvigorates political campaigns of populist parties like ANO in Czechia and SDS in Slovenia. The fate of PM Janez Janša’s SDS party — currently leading in popularity polls — is undecided due to the alienation of the opposition and potential cracks in the ruling party ahead of parliamentary elections. Czech PM’s Andrej Babiš’s ANO party no longer trails behind the rival liberal Pirates party. Euroscepticism, hard-line immigration stance and allegiance to Hungary’s PM Viktor Orbán has formed a grand narrative that attempts to define Central Europe in opposition to its western neighbours. Listen here.
  • 23.9.2021 Humanitarian Crisis Persists on Poland’s Border with Belarus: Conference in Budapest gathers a global alliance of notable conservatives while opinion polls in the V4 indicate a positive outlook for Visegrad cooperation despite nationalist strategies of ruling parties that deviate from the original ethos of the format. France stirs up discussion on European strategic autonomy after recent submarine row with US, UK and Australia – a sensitive subject for Central European countries that rely heavily on security guarantees from Washington. 4 dead bodies found on the Polish-Belarusian border sheds light on the humanitarian crisis at EU’s external border. Pushback of migrants from both sides and Warsaw remains reluctant to accept assistance from the EU’s Frontex. Constitutional Tribunal to decide on the relationship between European and Polish law. European Commission continues to withhold recovery funds from Hungary, Poland and Czechia on similar grounds of insufficient rule of law, transparency and good governance. Listen here.
  • 23.11.2021 Hungary and Poland Will Not See EU Funds Anytime Soon: Democratic opposition leader Sviatlana Tikhanouskaya is in Vienna ahead of the international conference on Belarus organised by Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg. European Commission sends letters to Hungary and Poland saying that problems with independence of the judiciary, failure to tackle corruption and a deficient public procurement system pose a risk to the bloc’s financial resources; this can be interpreted as an informal step towards triggering the conditionality mechanism which allows Brussels to withhold funds over rule of law concerns. Bulgaria’s victorious ‘We Continue the Change’ party speeds up coalition talks with three other parties, meanwhile, Czechia’s efforts to form government slowed down by President Miloš Zeman. Listen here.

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