3 April 2019

Authoritarian tendencies in Hungary? The role of the EU and Germany

Location Hertie School of Governance
Beginning 12.15  Ending 13:45
(c) Dahrendorf Forum / Steffen Weigelt

For several years, there have been signs of growing authoritarianism in Hungary. Viktor Orbán’s rule has been characterized by the erosion of the rule of law, suppression of freedom of the press, and discrimination against minorities. Some similarities to this self-proclaimed ‘illiberal democracy’ can since be observed in neighbouring countries. The European Parliament identified a ‘clear risk of a serious breach of EU values’ in Hungary, but no concrete sanctions have been implemented. However, just recently, party members of the European People’s Party (EPP), the European Parliament’s largest political grouping, voted in favour of the suspension of Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz. With the European elections on the horizon, Hungary has not shown signs of abandoning its current course.

Workshop participants will discuss the current political situation in Hungary, and the role of the EU and Germany in addressing these trends. Activists, academics, politicians and journalists in the room will discuss three main questions: What do developments in Hungary mean for other European countries and for the EU as a whole? How should the European Parliament and European Commission position themselves to stop the rise of ‘illiberal democracy’ in Europe? What can Germany do to improve the situation in Hungary and prevent authoritarianism from spreading to other European countries?

The discussion will be moderated by Bernhard Knoll-Tudor (Hertie School of Governance). An opening statement from Márta Pardavi (Hungarian Helsinki Committee) will be commented by three panellists, and followed by a question and answer session with all participants. The Chatham House Rule applies.



Helmut K. Anheier, Professor of Sociology and Academic Co-Director of the Dahrendorf Forum at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin


Opening statement

Márta Pardavi, Co-Chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee



Discussants’ response

Daniel Hegedüs, Rethink CEE fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States

Orsolya Schwabe, Free Hungarian Embassy in Berlin

Katrin Staffler, Member of the German Parliament; Vice-Chairwoman of the parliamentary group Slovakia-Czech Republic-Hungary



Bernhard Knoll-Tudor, Director of Executive Education at the Hertie School of Governance, Berlin



We look forward to welcoming you to this event. If you wish to attend, please send an email to soczek@hertie-school.org.