With the speedy entry of Central Europe and the Baltic States into the European Union, many had hoped that the new member states would be the motor of further democratization and enhanced security in Europe. Now with the electoral turmoil in Belarus, reverses in Ukraine, disturbing anti-democratic moves in Hungary, and the continued challenges in Russia, many worry that the democratic wave of the 1990s may be truly stalled, if not over. Some argue that instead of proving to be an invaluable bridgehead to the East, Central European countries have been obstructing moves toward pan-European integration and a reconciliation with Russia, as well as living in the past by overemphasizing the Transatlantic relationship with the United States. Others disagree and say Central European countries have been a force of moral integrity and have good reason for keeping strong ties to the U.S.
Please join Transitions for a panel discussion at 14:30 on Thursday, 27 January with some of the leading experts on Central Europe for a discussion on whether the new member states are playing a productive role in today’s Europe and can still serve as democratic models for their neighbors farther east.
This event is free and open to the public; entry is on a first-come first-served basis. Presentations will be in English, and refreshments will be served.
The program will include two separate panel discussions and end at approximately 18:00 with a reception. The first discussion (14:30-16:00) will concern the state of democracy in East Central Europe and the second (16:30-18:00) will look at security issues and Central Europe’s relations with Germany, Russia, and the United States.
Robert Cottrell – former Central and Eastern European correspondent, The Economist
Martin Ehl – foreign editor of Hospodarske noviny
Miklos Haraszti – former OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media
Jiri Pehe – director of New York University in Prague.
Vlad Sobell – independent analyst
Christopher Walker – director of studies, Freedom House