Declaration of the Hungarian Europe Society on the Judgement of Fidel Castro

The Hungarian Europe Society (HES) has been witnessing with great bewilderment and concern, that the European Commission has refrained from referring to Fidel Castro, following his passing, as what he really was: a dictator. We are expressing our outrage at the statement of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who stated “With the death of Fidel Castro, the world has lost a man who was a hero for many” and whose legacy will be judged by history. Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission wrote: “Fidel Castro was a man of determination and an historical figure.”

We believe that there is no need to wait for the judgement of history. We know that Fidel Castro and his communist single-party system were responsible for the massacre of several tens of thousands of people since he came to power in 1959. His regime incarcerated thousands of Christians, civil activists and LGBT people besides the members of the political opposition in prisons and work camps, and the regime violated the basic civil liberties, such as the rights to freedom of speech and opinion, as well as the freedom of assembly. The human rights situation in Cuba is very dire up to this day: according to information from the opposition, this year alone six thousand people were arrested for political reasons. We firmly believe that not even the death of Castro is a good enough reason to keep silent and relativise the crimes of the Cuban communist regime. Doing so undermines the historical significance of the Central and Eastern European region and denigrates the sacrifices of the many millions of victims to the communist regime. 

Our concern is heightened by the fact that the statements from the EU leadership following the death of Fidel Castro come at a time when it would be the absolute duty of the European Commission to stand up to those member states (Hungary, Poland) that at this very moment are questioning the basic values of liberal democracies and are putting efforts into dismantling the system of checks and balances. The President of the European Commission bares a political responsibility to protect our common European values and human rights, thus cannot allow himself such declarations. There is a real risk for the European Union to lose credibility if it doesn’t stand up incontestably against existing or developing dictatorships, whereas it stands for human rights and democratic values on the global stage. The Hungarian Europe Society therefore endorses the statement made by the European Commissioner of Trade Cecilia Malmström, who declared: “Fidel Castro was a dictator who oppressed his people for 50 years”, and remarked that she found it strange to hear all the tributes. 

We express our hope that Cuba, following a peaceful and successful transition will soon join the community of democratic States. 


2 December 2016

Who Benefits from a Federal Europe?

László Bruszt, Visiting Professor at the Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence, made a presentation on 3 November 2016.

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    László Bruszt, István Hegedűs
  • IMG 8889András Radnóti, Zsófia Vidák, Zsuzsanna Végh, Andrea Zsiga-Kiss, Emese Lafferton, Kinga Szurday, Orsolya Zámbó, Tamás Fóti, László Bruszt, István Hegedűs, Nóra Hegedűs, Kinga Szuly, Mustár

Blaming the Migrants in the Eastern Part of the EU

The final report entitled "The Response of the Visegrad Countries to the Refugee Crisis" was completed by the Hungarian Europe Society at the end of September 2016. The authors are István Hegedűs, Györgyi Kocsis, Kata Nagy, András Schweitzer, Zsófia Stahl, Erzsébet Strausz, Erik Uszkiewicz, Zsuzsanna Végh, Zsófia Vidák as well as Alena Krempaska, Christian Kvorning Lassen and Peter Weisenbacher. The project was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation für die Freiheit.


Individual papers for the report:

István Hegedűs: Political Games in an „Illiberal Democracy” During the Refugee Crisis

Györgyi Kocsis, Kata Nagy: Responses of the Visegrad 4 Countries to the Current European Migrant Crisis. First Lessons of an Expert Survey

Alena Krempaska, Peter Weisenbacher: The Refugee Crisis and the Reaction of the Visegrad Countries. Government Policies in National Contexts - Slovakia

Christian Kvorning Lassen: The Czech Republic and the Refugee Crisis

András Schweitzer: Strangers and the Strange Lands – Cultural Roots of the East Central European “Compassion Deficit”

Zsófia Stahl, Zsófia Vidák: Refugees of the Recent “Migrant Crisis” in the Visegrad Group Countries - Cultural and Legal Aspects

Zsuzsanna VéghRefugee and Migration Crisis through the Visegrad Lens One Year in Review


Timeline of most notable events related to the European migrant crisis
April 2015 – May 2016 

Make the Referendum Invalid!

Hungarian non-governmental organisations, including the Hungarian Europe Society, condemned the anti-refugee referendum announced by the government in a joint declaration on 14 September 2016. They advice citizens to boycott the referendum or to submit an invalid vote.


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Let's Invalidate the Hungarian Refugee Quota Referendum!

We, Hungarian NGOs and citizens with a sense of responsibility for our country, believe in a country where our common matters are managed with humaneness, solidarity and mutual respect. We are concerned about seeing the government threaten our common values, therefore we speak out against the referendum scheduled for October 2, as well as the hate campaign surrounding the vote.

We decided to start a campaign to invalidate the referendum, which fails to promote our common concerns and is both pointless and inhuman.

Hillary is the Final Favorite

On 6 June 2016 Szabolcs Panyi, editor-journalist of Index online journal and Csaba Tóth, strategic director of Republikon Institute held presentations about the US presidential elections.

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    Orsolya Zámbó, Jerzy Celichowski, Emil Celichowski, István Hegedűs, Szabolcs Panyi, Csaba Tóth, Györgyi Kocsis, Mustár, László Seres
     
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    Szabolcs Panyi, Csaba Tóth
     

Pictures of a Workshop

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    István Hegedűs, Péter Balázs
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    István Hegedűs
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    Boldizsár Nagy
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    Christian Kvorning Lassen, Zsófia Stáhl
  • IMG 7142
    András Szalai, Györgyi Kocsis
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    Erik Uszkiewicz, András Schweitzer
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    Erzsébet Strausz
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    Peter Weisenbacher, Boldizsár Nagy, István Hegedűs
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    Elżbieta Kużelewska, Boldizsár Nagy
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    Júlia Iván
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    Peter Weisenbacher, Alena Krempaska
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    Igor Ujhazi, Emina Bužinkić
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    Emma Gothár, Michal Cerny, Zsuzsanna Végh, Gabi Gőbl
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    Kata Nagy, Boldizsár Nagy, Györgyi Kocsis
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    Kata Nagy
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    Zsófia Vidák, Emma Gothár
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    Erzsébet Strausz, Dániel Hegedűs, Zsuzsanna Végh
  • IMG 7504
    András Kováts
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    Kata Nagy, Boldizsár Nagy, István Hegedűs, Peter Weisenbacher, Erzsébet Strausz, András Szalai, Elżbieta Kużelewska, Emina Bužinkić, Igor Ujhazi, Katarina Davidova, Christian Kvorning Lassen, Zsófia Stáhl, Emma Gothár, Alena Krempaska, András Schweitzer, Zsófia Vidák, Erik Uszkiewicz, Györgyi Kocsis