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

Workshop | 03.04.2019 | Hertie School of Governance

Bildquelle: Hertie School of Governance

Bildquelle: Hertie School of Governance


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, Budapest

Discussants’ response

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

Orsolya Schwabe, Free Hungarian Embassy, Berlin

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


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

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. Although the European Parliament identified a ‘clear risk of a serious breach of EU values’ in Hungary, no concrete sanctions have been implemented, and Hungary’s ruling party Fidesz remains a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group in the European Parliament. With the European elections on the horizon, Hungary is showing no 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.

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

The “Dahrendorf Forum – Debating Europe” is a joint initiative by the Hertie School of Governance and the London School of Economics and Political Science, funded by Stiftung Mercator. Under the title “The future of Europe: strategic options for an era of uncertainties” the project cycle 2017-2019 fosters research and open debate on the changing European political landscape.

Zeit & Ort

12:15-13:45 Uhr 

Lunch snack buffet from 11:45

Hertie School of Governance | Friedrichstr. 180 | 10117 Berlin
Room: 3.30 (3rd floor)

 Weitere Informationen


  • authoritarianism
  • Berlin
  • Eastern Europe
  • EU
  • Germany
  • Hertie School of Governance, Viktor Orban
  • Hungary
  • illiberal democracy
  • Osteuropa
  • Visegrad