21 October, 2016 – 09:00 to 12:00
FJUM Seminarraum, Karl-Farkas-Gasse 18, 1030 Vienna

FJUM and European Commission, Representation in Austria, are organizing background information sessions on political and social developments in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. Five workshops: 4 October – 29 November 2016, 9:00-12:00

Milan Nič, Head of Future of Europe Programme will deliver the session on Slovakia on 21 October 2016.

Since 1989 Austrian banks and businesses have extended their presence internationally by expanding into Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).  Some Austrian companies advertise themselves as major CEE players. In spite of the country’s now significant economic stakes, the Austrian media have lagged in covering political and social developments in the immediate region. Vienna has not developed into a media hub for news about the Visegrad Group* and Slovenia: media are often caught off-guard when covering events in these countries. While news coverage does exist, an in-depth understanding of the developments in CEE societies seems to be missing.

Why has Hungary embraced illiberal democracy? Why did Slovak voters opt for a political party with fascist symbols? Why is Poland transforming its institutions against the EU standards? Why are the Czechs Eurosceptic? Why are all CEE countries anti-immigrant? Why is the anti-Brussels feeling increasing? Five information sessions, one per country, will address these and many other questions.

The Brexit vote and the unprecedented refugee flow to Europe have polarized public opinion in the Visegrad Group, who have taken on a new importance in the EU. The Hungarian referendum on the refugee quota, scheduled for 2 October, could further complicate the already fragmented views on immigration and security within the EU. Thus, it is essential to fully understand political developments in the region.

Five Information Sessions

The background information sessions are specially designed to improve journalists’ understanding and analytical skills when covering political and economic developments in the region. All speakers are top CEE journalists and academics.

Each session is dedicated to one country. However, in order to broaden the understanding of the regional political and economic context, complementary topics will be addressed – Is capitalist development in Eastern Europe comparable to the Western European model? Are Western and Eastern political concepts compatible? What is the role of the media? What can the EU do when its standards are violated? What is the contribution of the EU structural funds to the regional economies?

For more information, please visit FJUM website.

Speakers

Milan Nič

Head of Future of Europe Programme