Will the new nationalism destroy Europe? Review of the debate

A debate: ‘Will the new nationalism destroy Europe?’ took place on 7 February in Warsaw co-organized by WiseEuropa, the Heinrich Böll Foundation and the Stefan Batory Foundation, which hosted the event. Experts and almost sixty people discussed the issue of populism in Europe (as well as in the whole world), while touching upon some political, cultural, civilisation and economic topics.

The debate was opened by Mrs. Katarzyna Pełczyńska-Nałęcz, the Director of the Open Europe Program in Stefan Batory Foundation. It was followed by Adam Balcer, Project Manager Eurasia in WiseEuropa, who delivered a speech summarizing the report – ‘The Recurring Temptation of National Democracy in Poland and Hungary’.

‘To understand the phenomenon of success of such political parties as PiS (the Law and Justice Party) or Fidesz (Hungarian Civic Alliance), one needs to analyse the process of forming nations and states, identity politics as well as political memory of those parties. We can distinguish three key areas in which the change in viewing a nation is particularly pronounced – the attitude towards the state, democracy and the West.’ Stated Adam Balcer in his report.

Among the group of panellists were:

  • Dr Agnieszka Łada, Head of the European Programme at Institute of Public Affairs,
  • Bulcsú Hunyadi from a Hungarian Political Capital Institute,
  • Dick Pels, a Dutch sociologist and publicist, and
  • Brian Porter-Szűcs, an expert on East-Central Europe and Poland from the University of Michigan.

Download the report


Beneath the surface of illiberalism. The recurring temptation of ‘national democracy’ in Poland and Hungary


See pictures from the debate


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