Anti-refugee, authoritarian and anti-European political forces in the Visegrad region are gaining strength by learning from each other. Likewise, political and civic groups advocating Europe and open societies must do do the same. We aim to bring together the most active of parts of this pro-European spectrum – journalists, activists and young politicians, from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – together with partners from old member states, to brainstorm about common responses.
Zaježová - settlement near Zvolen, Central Slovakia
At the moment, Visegrad countries are becoming a problem for the future of Europe. We want to address the outlook of young generatino of Visegrad societies. The refugee problem brought an unexpected wave of xenophobic panic, fueled by our political leaders, their hate-speech and hostility towards Europe. We want to break through this vicious circle whereby young people, instead of seeing real threats, are seeking “protection from refugees”. The fear paralyses both rationality and empathy.
We want to bring together the most active people with the potential to make a difference in our societies, people who otherwise wouldn’t have the chance to talk to each other. We want to inspire and encourage them, and significantly boost their knowledge about the current state of the Central European countries and Europe as a whole. We are aiming to build a vibrant, creative interdisciplinary network and expect the participants would enlarge the network in the future.
- We want set up a series of 4-day meetings involving about 38 people – about – most of them from Central – East Europe.
- The first step will be the creation of an international preparatory panel to nominate the participants.
- Next, in cooperation with the future participants the panel will create the agenda of the meetings: choose moderators of the round tables, brain-storming and guest experts (sociologists, political scientists, psychologists, economists, constitutional lawyers - but also film makers and writers).
- The meetings will be held in a beautiful, lonely place in the middle of the mountains, in Zaježová in Central Slovakia – the Zaježová educational center, with an atmosphere of independent life in harmony. The participants will become, for a while, part of the com unit
For people with the potential of shifting the atmosphere: influential activists, journalists, young politicians, active opponents of the politics of negative emotions and national isolation, people with different experiences, backgrounds and mindsets – not just people from the same societal niche. Mostly people between the ages of 25 to 45. We believe the synergy of outstanding individuals can trigger societal change. In this sense, we are doing it also for ourselves.
This is an emergency project. Accordingly, we tried to find the most direct ways to tackle the problem. This is why we will be trying to involve the key players in our countries and do not exclude young MP-s or local politicians. We want them to talk to the most inspirational experts - such as Ivan Krastev, Zygmunt Bauman, sir Robert Cooper, Claus Offe, Ingo Schulze, Bernhard Schlink or Olga Tokarczuk, who have participated in our Central European Forum editions in Bratislava.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Project coordination................7200 Accomodation and cattering...9000 Travel Costs....................... ..22500 Translation costs, promotion...2500 Logistic Costs......................... 6300 Expert Fees............................ 7500