IDM Short Insights 34: Presidential Elections in Slovakia

On 6 April 2024, the second round of presidential elections took place in Slovakia. Peter Pellegrini, the leader of the government coalition party HLAS, defeated Ivan Korčok, the opposition candidate. On location in Bratislava, Daniel Martínek analyses the main reasons behind Pellegrini’s victory and what implications it will have for both domestic politics and Slovakia’s position on the international stage.

 

Peter Techet for Le Figaro on the chances of the new movement against Orbán

In the French daily newspaper “Le Figaro,” Péter Techet, research associate at IDM, analyzed the possible outcomes of the new, rather conservative movement in Hungary led by Péter Magyar against Viktor Orbán. Techet said that Magyar, with his conservative rhetoric and attacks on the current opposition, might be able to reach current Fidesz voters, especially since a regime change in Hungary is not possible without the center-right, conservative electorate.

The article in French can be read here (behind paywall).

Péter Techet about Orbán’s potential new opponent in “La Libre Belgique”

In the Belgian daily newspaper “La Libre Belgique”, Péter Techet, research associate at IDM, analyzed why Péter Magyar, who aims to launch a new movement against Viktor Orbán in Hungary, presents a threat not only to the government but also to the opposition, as he has predominantly appealed to opposition voters thus far.

The article in French can be read here (behind a paywall).

Péter Techet on the “Orbanization” of French Media in „Klubrádió“

In the evening program of the Hungarian Klubrádió, Péter Techet, research associate at IDM, spoke about the right-wing shift in French media.

You can listen to the program in Hungarian here (after 13:20).

Péter Techet on the new European Parliament after the elections

In the Hungarian-language program of the Slovak Radio (RTVS Pátria Rádió), Péter Techet, research associate at the IDM, analyzed the possible scenarios within the European Parliament after the elections in the summer.

The entire broadcast can be heard in Hungarian here.

IDM Short Insights 33: Why Local Elections in Poland Will Be a Test for the Tusk Government

In 2024, it is worth keeping an eye not only on national elections. In early April, Poles will be voting for local governments and mayors. In the newest IDM Short Insight, our colleague Malwina Talik explains why local ballots will carry significant weight for Poland. They represent an important test for the new Polish government, as well as for the Law and Justice party, which has been undergoing a deep crisis since its defeat in the parliamentary elections in the fall of 2023.

Sebastian Schäffer an der FH Wien der WKW

Sebastian Schäffer hielt auf Einladung von Dr. Mariele Schulze Berndt einen Gastvortrag an der FH Wien der WKW. Im Rahmen des Studienganges Journalism and Media Management sprach der IDM-Direktor über Der lange Weg nach Europa – Herausforderungen und Chancen der EU-Erweiterung in Südost- und Osteuropa. Er ging dabei unter anderem auf das Dilemma der Gleichzeitigkeit 2.0 ein und stellte den Vorschlag zu einem Erweiterten Europäischen Rat vor. Im Mittelpunkt des Inputs stand die aktuelle Entwicklung hinsichtlich der EU-Erweiterung in den neun (potentiellen) Kandidatenländern, nur zwei Tage zuvor hatte nun auch Bosnien und Herzegowina diesen Status erhalten. Daran schloss sich eine lebhafte Diskussion an, bei der unter anderem auch Fragen zur Arbeit des IDM besprochen wurden.   

Vorstandsvorsitzender Friedrich Faulhammer bei der EUSDR-Konferenz im österreichischen Parlament

Fotos Copyright: Parlamentsdirektion/Johannes Zinner

Der Vorstandsvorsitzender des IDM, Präsident der Donaurektorenkonferenz (DRC) und Rektor der Universität für Weiterbildung Krems Friedrich Faulhammer hielt einen Keynote zum Thema „Der Donauraum als Kultur-, Natur- und Wissenschaftsraum“ anlässlich der 9. Konferenz der Parlamentspräsident*innen der EU-Strategie für den Donauraum (EUSDR), die am 18. und 19. März 2024 im österreichischen Parlament stattgefunden hat. 

In seiner Rede betonte er die unverzichtbare Präsenz des IDM im Donauraum. Er beleuchtete die Rolle des Instituts als Brücke zwischen wissenschaftlichen und kulturellen Bereichen und stellte vielfältige Aktivitäten des Instituts vor, wie zum Beispiel das kürzlich veröffentlichte Buch „My Danube Story“, das Kurzgeschichten verschiedener Autor*innen über die Donau enthält. Die Sammlung der Geschichten war Teil der vielfältigen Aktivitäten, die letztes Jahr im Rahmen der 70-Jahr-Jubiläumsfeierlichkeiten unter dem Generalthema „Locating the Future“ durchgeführt wurden. 

In seiner Keynote erläuterte Faulhammer auch die Mission des IDM: die transnationale grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit im Donauraum steht immer im Vordergrund. Mit einem außergewöhnlichen Programm von 20 organisierten Veranstaltungen in allen 19 Zielländern des IDM sowie einer Veranstaltung zum Thema Donau als Fluss selbst zeigte das IDM im vergangenen Jahr, wie grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit in der Praxis funktioniert und wie wichtig der Aufbau sowie die Pflege professioneller Netzwerke entlang der Donau ist. Für das Institut, das auch zu den ältesten Denkfabriken nicht nur im deutschsprachigen Raum zählt, liegt deshalb die Zukunft Europas in der Donauregion.  

Sebastian Schäffer on Asharq News about EUCO and Ukraine

IDM Director Sebastian Schäffer spoke on the Arabic-language television channel Aharq News about the results of the European Summit held in Brussels on 21 March regarding the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. The Saudi Arabian TV station also invited a speaker from Moscow, who started by expressing his frustration about his frozen pension fund with Citi Bank. Schäffer stated that it is interesting to hear that suddenly rule of law is demanded, while the Russian Federation has violated international law in Ukraine for more than a decade now.  

The legal possibilities of using Russian frozen assets in the EU to finance weapons for Ukraine among other things is currently debated among the Heads of State or Government in the Belgian capital. There seems to be a broader consensus, at least among the German political parties, to use the interest resulting from those assets, which adds up to around three billion euros per year.  

While it is only natural that decisions among 27 sovereign countries take longer, time is not on the side of Ukraine. However, the Russian Federation is not as united as the result of the presidential “elections” might suggest. Schäffer said that there are signs of the biggest manipulations in Russia for nearly 25 years. Vladimir Putin would of course still have won, but by a much lesser margin.  

The guest from Moscow argued that the economy of the Russian Federation is strong despite the sanctions and has been transformed to outproduce the West; he also declared that the attacks on his country from Ukraine will only further unite the Russian population behind Putin. The IDM Director responded that this might be the case, but even with the uncertainty of the support coming from the United States and the possibility of Trump returning to the White House next year, the EU member states have at least started to recognise the need to do more. As the Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas suggested, if every country provides at least 0.25 percent of its gross domestic product for military aid, the Ukrainians could outstrip Russia.  

Schäffer further mentioned that with all the lamenting coming from Moscow, we should not forget that the Kremlin heinously attacks the civilian population in Ukraine each and every day, causing death and destruction. They are solely responsible and have to face the consequences. 

The IDM delegation in Poland

The IDM delegation (Sebastian Schäffer and Malwina Talik) has been on a brief visit to Poland where we have met with stakeholders crucial for our profile and goals, and jointly organised timely open debates with partners from the IDM target country.

It was our great pleasure to start the visit with a meeting with Undersecretary of State Henryka Mościcka-Dendys at Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland to discuss cooperation priorities in CEE and the EU.

Our next meeting was with Joanna Bekker and Kinga Brudzińska from Polityka Insight where we enjoyed the exchange about the current political situation in Poland, challenges faced by the EU, the EP elections and possible future developments.

We also had a chance to talk with Amanda Dziubińska and Lukasz Jasiński from The Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM) about the future prospects for the Weimar Triangle.

We started the next day with a visit to Konrad Adenauer Stiftung / Poland where we had an engaging conversation with David Gregosz about the Polish-German relations and co-operation in face of the Russian war in Ukraine.

We also had a chance to catch up with Wojciech Przybylski from Visegrad Insight about current political developments in CEE, Poland, Germany and Austria.

Last but not least, our visit finished with a debate (with ambassador Jan Truszczyński, prof. Renata Mieńkowska-Norkiene, Sebastian Schäffer, moderated by Malgorzata Kopka-Piątek) on the future of the EU, jointly organised with Instytut Spraw Publicznych and University of Warsaw.

Dziękujemy!