Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe

10.13.2016, 9:00AM to 3:30PM

On Thursday, the 13th of October, from 9:00am to 3:30pm, the Atlantic Council, together with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), and in cooperation with the National Democratic Institute (NDI), held an event called “The Illiberal Turn?: Reasserting Democratic Values in Central and Eastern Europe.” The conference discussed the political, economic, and social currents that challenge the region’s path toward greater cooperation, prosperity, and freedom.

The event was inspired by President of Czechoslovakia Vaclav Havel’s vision for a transatlantic future of Central and Eastern Europe. However, the pressure of recurring crises across the European Union has paved the way for populist and isolationist movements and the closing of civic space in Central and Eastern Europe.

These emerging trends put at stake Havel’s legacy, the region’s transatlantic accomplishments, and the future of Europe. This event brought together key European and US voices, and featured Jill Dougherty, former Foreign Affairs correspondent, CNN; Carl Gershman, President, National Endowment for Democracy, Marc Schleifer, Regional Director for Europe, Eurasia and South Asia, Center for International Private Enterprise; and Ambassador Kurt Volker, Executive Director, McCain Institute for International Leadership, among other speakers, to discuss democratic backsliding, media freedom, and economic changes.

Watch a video of the Managing Economic Crises and Combating Corruption: The Role of the Business Community panel below, featuring moderator Marc Schleifer, and panelists Sally Painter, senior advisor to the Atlantic Council and co-founder and COO of Blue Star Strategies; Hans Timmer, chief economist for Europe and Central Asia at the World Bank; Heather Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and András Lőke, President of Transparency International Hungary and founder and editor-in-chief of

Watch the Full Video:

Video of the entire conference is available for viewing on the Atlantic Council website.


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