The primary goal of populist politicians is to capture (or rather to “buy”) political support, win elections or keep political power. Therefore, they do not use tools necessary to bring long-term prosperity to the people but rather take advantage of whatever can guarantee them short-term political gains.
Central European countries remain committed to a parliamentary system of governance as opposed to the presidential system favored by most of their counterparts in the former Soviet bloc. Their stories were supposed to have happy endings and make Central Europe a valedictorian of the European Union. Unfortunately, this did not last long.
The democratic backlash and the illiberal tendencies in countries like Hungary, Poland and Slovakia are often characterized with the label of populism. This “new politics” in Central Eastern Europe has introduced a majoritarian model of democracy, where the elected leaders are empowered to fulfill their political agenda.
The present day Hungarian radicalism is a topic worth investigating as it is often featured in the media, it frequently enters everyday conversations as well as expert debates. However, we do not even have a clear definition of the word “radicals” as it carries different connotations for different individuals.
The new Polish right-wing government is often labelled as nationalistic, populistic and radical. However it tries to reject this epithets, they are all true. The “good change” is a political slogan of the Law and Justice government that marks the major shift that has recently been introduced in Poland.
The influx of both economic migrants and refugees to the European Union in 2015 and 2016 have initiated a heated debate across many European countries which have previously not been confronted with such a phenomenon. The humanitarian crisis led to the outburst of migrants and asylum seekers fleeing their homes and entering Europe.
Like in other Central European states, the migration crisis dominated the Czech media space since 2015. Unlike any time before, xenophobic and islamophobic attitudes have left the margins and literally dominated the Czech public space.
Josef Šíma, President of CEVRO Institute, talks with Professor Aviezer Tucker of Harvard University about contemporary dimensions of totalitarianism, transition and populism in the Central Europe.
We are delighted to present you the 3rd issue of “4liberty.eu Review” devoted to the shadow economy in CEE. Read the editorial below and preview the magazine on Issuu. Enjoy!