About the Project

DEFINING RESPONSES TO RISE OF EXTREMISM IN EUROPE

Tailor-Made Recommendations for Mainstream Parties in Central Europe

 

Who we are

The coordinator of this project is the European Values Think-Tank, a Prague-based non-partisan public policy institute, together with the League of Human Rights, an advocacy NGO based in Brno, Czech Republic. The project is mainly funded by the Open Society Foundations Think Tank Fund and co-funded by the International Visegrad Fund.

 

The Problem

In recent years Europe has witnessed the rise of far-right wing and populist political parties and, even more worryingly, rising popularity of their leaders. Among the reasons why such parties gain media attention and, furthermore, dominate political space is the fact that mainstream political parties are reluctant to publicly speak about immigration and integration of various ethnic and religious minorities. Moreover, they tend to ignore such highly sensitive political topics. The lack of sufficient political communication is the main reason why populists and extremists dominate the public discourse on immigration, and why voters are more likely to perceive far-right wing and populist parties – represented by charismatic leaders – as being competent authorities for solving problems resulting from, for instance, ill-managed migration and integration policies.

 

What do we want to do about it?

As a result of the first part of our project, we have recently published a comprehensive monograph POLITICS AND POLICIES OF INTEGRATION IN AUSTRIA, HUNGARY, CZECHIA, DENMARK AND AT THE EU LEVEL. Politicians and party experts from centre-right and centre-left parties in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Austria and Poland will be separately provided with trainings and very practical tailor-made recommendations, such as how to communicate the sensitive issues of integration of immigrants and minorities to wider public and how thus lessen the chances of the extremist parties to gain control and major say in this agenda.

 

When?

Five National Seminars

Public discussions, expert roundtables and closed meetings in the five Central European capitals attempt to involve various national experts, whose scope of research correlates with the issue areas the recommendations created during the first part of the project touch upon.

 

City Date*
Bratislava 7-8 April 2014
Vienna 14-15 May 2014
Prague 22-23 May 2014
Warsaw 23-24 June 2014
Budapest 23-24 July 2014
Brussels Spring 2015

 

Two Regional Seminars

Outcomes derived from the national seminars will be used for preparation of materials for workshops/trainings, thus offering a broader scope of expertise. Brno seminar will be organized for politicians from the strongest centre-right political parties and Bratislava seminar for politicians from the centre-left political parties to prevent meaningless debates.

 

City Date*
Brno 30-31 October 2014
Bratislava 27-28 November 2014

 

Two Councluding Roundtables

 

City Date*
Brussels 22 April 2015
Brussels 13 May 2015

 

Which parties will be addressed?

Without concrete improvements and results stemming from day-to-day policies, we cannot expect long-term trust in society and, moreover, successful integration at large. We again focus on measures that could ideally be implemented by politicians of both sides of the mainstream. We are, however, aware that it is not possible to provide useful recommendations for centre-left and centre-right parties all together; therefore, we have decided to split political subjects according to their political profiling.

 

Party of European Socialists

 

Party National abbrev. Country
Czech Social Democratic Party ČSSD Czech Republic
Socialdemocracy SMER Slovakia
Social Democratic Party of Austria SPÖ Austria
Hungarian Social Democratic Party MSZDP Hungary
Hungarian Socialist Party MSZP Hungary
Democratic Left Alliance SLD Poland
Union of Labour UP Poland

 

European People’s Party

 

Party National abbrev. Country
Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09 TOP 09 Czech Republic
Christian Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People’s Party KDU-ČSL Czech Republic
Slovakian Christian Democratic Union – Democratic Party SDKÚ-DS Slovakia
Party of the Hungarian Community SMK / MKP Slovakia
Christian Democratic Movement KDH Slovakia
Most-Híd Slovakia
Austrian People’s Party ÖVP Austria
Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union FIDESZ Hungary
Christian Democratic People’s Party KDNP Hungary
Civic Platform PO Poland
Polish People’s Party PSL Poland