On August 29, 2016, Olga Gyarfasova was at National Endowment for Democracy for an informal brownbag discussion on “Recent Challenges for Liberal Democracies in Central Europe.” She is former Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, she spent six months at NED in 2003.
The discussion was focused on Slovakia but addressed also the broader context of political developments in the region. Gyarfasova started her talk with an illustrative description of of what´s going in the region: General election in Slovakia saw the entrance of extreme nationalists to the parliament — due largely to the votes of young voters. The Polish government is attempting to limit the independence of courts. The Czech President openly expresses his sympathy toward Russian President Vladimir Putin. And the Hungarian Prime Minister, already in his second term of power, became a symbol across Europe for authoritarian statements and decisions. What happened to liberal democracy in the Visegrad Four countries? What are the risks and constraints of democracy's erosion?
The discussion was moderated by Joanna Rohozinka, senior program officer.
Photo: Olga Gyarfasova with Sally Blair at NED in Washington, D.C.