2024 Will Be Crucial for Future of Democracy [4liberty.eu Newsletter]

Cornelis Norbertus Gysbrechts: Trompe-l’oeil: Letter Rack with an Hourglass, a Razor and Scissors (ca. 1664) // Public domain

The April issue of the 4liberty.eu Newsletter provides an overview of the articles published on the 4liberty.eu website, serving as a starting point for further exploration.

Magdalena Melnyk &  Katarzyna Pisarska (Liberte!):
This year will undoubtedly be crucial for the future of democracy. As Professor Timothy D. Snyder, specializing in this area, says, it could be a year of either a breakdown and further prolonged recession of democracy worldwide or a breakthrough and the defense of these democracies. They will manage to confront the growing populism, disinformation, and tremendous pressure from authoritarian systems.
We are pleased to present the twentieth issue of 4liberty.eu Review, titled “20 Years in the EU: CEE and Its Path to Progress”. This time, our primary focus is on celebrating 20 years of several CEE states joining the European Union in the 2004 accession. By means of looking at the past, the present, and the future, we explore the advantages and challenges of EU membership and examine the status of the potential new members – Ukraine and Georgia.
Martin Vlachynsky (INESS):
The voices pointing to the EU’s overregulation, particularly in the areas of modern technology, are growing louder. But a comradely commitment to regulate less will not be enough to leave the Kafkaesque world. The Commission today is a gigantic organism of 30 000 officials whose job description is to create new legislation and thus ‘improve the world’. This will require a profound institutional change in the way the EU operates, a complete overhaul of the paradigm of how we view the common market, and centralized decision-making on European policies.
Balazs Odrobina (Republikon Institute):
Obviously, the traces of a long period such as the one marked by the name of János Kádár cannot simply be erased. It takes much more time to “transform” societies than to change the political or economic system. In the preceding paragraphs, I briefly described the characteristics of the Kádár-era and the 35 years following the regime change in terms of political socialization and political culture. On this basis, several patterns that have survived from the Kádár era in Hungarian society can be identified.
Petar Ganev (IME):
Bulgaria’s per capita gross domestic product in purchasing power parity terms has reached 64% of the European average in 2023. This is one of the indicators that most accurately shows convergence within the European Union, as it takes into account the differences in prices across countries and therefore gives fully comparable values. The well-known expression “Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU” is often based on this indicator. Taking into account the economic dynamics in the country, it seems likely that in the coming years, we will peel off from the bottom of the ranking.
Mateusz Gwóźdź (Projekt: Polska):
On April 7, 2024 millions of Polish citizens went to the voting commissions to cast their ballots in this year’s local elections. Following the recent triumph of the “democratic coalition” over Law and Justice and a subsequent change of government in December, many got their hopes up for a landslide victory in early spring.
Bendukidze Free Market Center:
Economics and finance are an inevitable part of everyday life for every individual. Economic decisions accompany us at every step: when buying products, saving money for education, retirement, or vacations, choosing a profession or a job, paying utility bills, loans, taxes, and so on. And how well-informed these decisions are directly impacts our individual and collective future.
Liberte! & ELF:
What does the political situation in Germany look like before the European elections? What is Germany’s attitude to the Russian war in Ukraine? And how are the green and liberal parties faring? Leszek Jazdzewski (Fundacja Liberte!) talks with Ralf Fücks, Managing Director of the Center for Liberal Modernity, following his 21 years as President of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, the political foundation associated with the Greens. Before that, he was the Co-Chair of the German Green Party (1989/
90) and the Senator of Environment and City Development in Bremen.