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Energiewende – Think European!

Our international conference took place on April 9th/10th and gave speakers from across Europe a chance to talk about the opportunities in and obstacles towards an Energiewende in Europe. Here you find video recordings of the talks and discussions.

Some factual notes on the Fourth Amendment to Hungary’s Fundamental Law

Since 2010 the Fidesz-KDNP coalition adopted a new constitution with so far four rounds of constitutional amendments. This analysis issued by the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union and the Eötvös Károly Institute highlights the specific concerns in relation to the Fourth Amendment. By Nóra Novoszádek

The lesson of the latest amendments to the Hungarian constitution

With the constitutional amendments adopted on the 11th of March, Viktor Orbán has once again caused a surprise. The reactions of the Western European public show that there is still an inadequate grasp of how political power is exercised by Orbán’s government. European democrats now finally need to formulate a common position against the power centralization in the country.

By Eva van de Rakt, Kristóf Szombati

Notes on the current phase of electoral reform in Hungary

After passing the Electoral Procedure Act, we are still far from knowing the final rules less than a year and a half ahead of the next parliamentary elections. However, the new electoral system turns out to be a measure of the governing party to increase its chances of winning the 2014 general election, while oppositional parties will be forced to organise their activist network and engage in a door-to-door campaign more effectively than before.  By Róbert László

The Story of the "Hungarian Orange"

Berlin-based Hungarian artist Artúr van Balen has travelled to Hungary to join the opposition protests in Budapest on the 23rd of October. With the help of around 15 artists and activists van Balen created the "Hungarian Orange", a 5 meter long, 3.5 meter high inflatable lemon, which they brought to the protests. But not everyone was amused by the playful object. By Artúr van Balen

Through Czech Perspectives: The Euro Crisis and Germany’s Role

Is the Czech Republic “a European state without Europeans”? Vladimír Handl analyses the dissolution of the Czech consensus, its relationship to the German approach in rescuing the EU, the “nation-state-based” current in Czech politics and the risks of Euroscepticism.
By Vladimír Handl

Conference: Europe’s Common Future

During the three years of Europe’s crisis many supposedly rock-solid certainties about the European Union have been shaken up. Today, even dedicated Europeans do have to admit that, in its present shape, the EU may be one of the casualties of the crisis. At our conference Europe’s Common Future such concerns about a possibly disastrous failure of the Eurozone were palpable.  By Torsten Arndt

Opposition in Hungary: Left-of-centre Co-operation - the Risky Imperative?

As expected, the 56th anniversary of the hungarian revolution occasioned a symbolic battle between the Prime Minister and his left-of-centre opposition, with both sides seeking to present themselves as the true heirs of 1956. Whereas Orbán and Fidesz clearly won the battle of numbers, the show was stolen by Gordon Bajnai, the former Prime Minister. By Kristóf Szombati

Germany's role in the crisis

Germany appears to have come into its leadership role in the crisis involuntarily. Nevertheless, it is time that Germany also acknowledges that the crisis can only be overcome together with solidarity and stability and a sustainable future foundation for the European Union.  By Viola von Cramon

What Kind of Growth for Europe? Lessons from Greece

Using the example of Greece, Anna Visvizi illustrates what kind of growth European countries need. She points out, that the strategy of the EU can not only focus on promoting economic growth per se but must be aimed at the fundamental factors for a sustainable socio-economic growth.

The new Education Act – regulation and centralisation

A chain of rapid and unprecedented changes in Hungary’s Higher Education Act have been adopted and implemented recently by the government of Viktor Orbán. The changes share the intention of centralising power and establishing supreme control over all levels of education. By Zsófia Deák

Giving European Citizens a Say

The EU is facing a crisis. But this crisis is not only about a currency. When Europe’s citizens are only spectators while governments are taking decisions, democracy is in danger. To reduce this lack of democracy we do need a better election system, effective participation instruments for EU citizens and European referenda.  By Gerald Haefner interviewed by Christine Pütz

The Only Solution to the European Crisis is Democracy

Europe finds itself in a crisis. For everyone involved it is clear that a solution to the crisis requires the reduction of economic imbalances. However, it is impossible for the EU to legitimate itself only by its economic value these days. The EU’s economic crisis must be politicized and the EU citizens have to be encouraged to take an active part in a solution.  

By Ulrich K. Preuß

Germany is crucial for the future of Europe

Germany, as seen from the perspective of its neighbour Poland, is primarily the engine of the European integration. But at the same time, the German debate on European politics is viewed by the Poles both with some mistrust and the concern that the upcoming euroscepticism and populism signifies the end of Europe’s future.  By Cezary Michalski

Less can be more

More Europe. Conservatives, social democrats, liberals and Green Party members seem to agree that this is the answer to Europe’s financial and debt crisis. We really do need more Europe if we want to make the euro crisis-proof. The exciting question is how. In other words: how much do we want of which Europe?  By Franziska Brantner