"Democracy is central"

New Initiative on Rule of Law and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe //

Over the last years, many societies witnessed a so-called illiberal backlash. Democratic achievements that had been considered secure and were almost taken for granted are more and more under attack. This process has taken different forms across Europe. While Germany is struggling with the first extreme right-wing party that managed to enter the Bundestag since 1945, in Poland and Hungary it is the right-wing national governing parties PiS and Fidesz that attack and damage democracy and the rule of law since their coming into power. These attacks on institutions and individuals lead to a situation in which democratic actors are no longer able to carry out their work unhindered. Media and their employees are massively harassed by government representatives (especially in Poland and Hungary), which equalizes an attack on freedom of opinion and freedom of the press. At the same time, a new divide between relevant political elites threatens to emerge, and it must be prevented from deepening.

Thus, we aim at establishing a new initiative of experts on rule of law and democracy in Central and Eastern Europe. The goal of this initiative is to facilitate structural and long-term networking for experts, researchers and other professionals working on questions of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe from a political, social, cultural, historical and economic perspective. A Kick-Off Meeting will take place in digital form on October 21, 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact Anna Delius (DeliusA@ghst.de) in case of questions.

This call for collaboration is open to all Hertie Fellows and all interested experts and professionals. Please apply by uploading in a short biography (max. 200 words) laying out your fields of expertise and interest as well as a short letter of motivation (max. 500 words) in English or German. We kindly ask you to point out at what you consider the most pressing issue in the region at the moment. The deadline is October 18, 2020. The meetings will be held in English or German, according to the preferences of the participants.


21. October 2020
Closing date:
20. October 2020

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