In this special episode, we kick-off our Future of Ukraine fellowship to help Ukrainian thought leaders continue their work and tell the untold stories of the war. We introduce you to the first round of our three fellows that we have selected: Vitaly Portnikov, Christine Karelska, and Bohdan Bernatskyi. The fellows detail their experience and what they will be working on during their fellowship.
Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief) and Tetiana Poliak-Grujić (Project Manager).
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Polish-Hungarian Break Up Hinders Visegrad Cooperation
16:57With a year to go until parliamentary elections, Polish opposition parties are in full campaign mode. Newcomer Polska 2050 party, also a member of Renew Europe grouping, is being led by Szymon Hołownia as a third way between Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform and the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party that offers a renewed focus on dusty topics like Poland’s adoption of the Euro. Meanwhile, Poland is unable to ditch the Visegrad cooperation format despite fundamental differences on support for Ukraine with its Hungarian counterpart — begging the question of what comes next for the V4?
Four Scenarios — How War Changes the Future of Europe
38:27We should have listened to the voices inside our Union – in Poland, in the Baltics, and all across Central and Eastern Europe, said Ursula von der Leyen in the recent State of the Union. But what does CEE have to say really? And is it one or several divergent voices? Based on a strategic foresight carried out in the past 12 months with CEE experts and opinion leaders Wojciech Przybylski explores the four scenarios that may determine the course of the European project and integration by 2030. Download our latest foresight report with one month free access outlining four scenarios on the War and the Future of Europe.
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Russia Today’s Unwanted Presence in Europe
32:02Visegrad Insight podcast is back to digest the latest summer developments in CEE and Europe. This week we are joined by Anton Shekhovtsov, Director of the Austria-based Centre for Democratic Integrity and the author of a new report detailing the malign influence of Russian media abroad — ‘RT in Europe and Beyond’. As a small - but not insignificant wave of social protests begins to emerge in Central European cities - Shekhovtsov explains RT’s current mode of operations after EU sanctions, how the Kremlin’s disinformation campaign is expanding to Africa and future prospects for Russia’s propaganda arm to undermine Western support for Ukraine. Sign-up for the official presentation on our latest foresight report outlining four scenarios on the War and the Future of Europe, this Thursday 15 September, at 11:30 AM CET.
Are Czechs or Slovaks Downplaying the V4 Presidency?
29:09European Parliament to debate and vote on the The Three Seas Initiative and discuss its challenges and opportunities. Slovak presidency in the Visegrad Group begins this week, prioritising some of the initiatives from the 3SI - interconnectedness and economy. Czech EU presidency kicks off with its obstacles. European grid operates plan to implement long-term plan to bring Baltic states into the European realm. What the EU member candidacy status really means for Ukraine. In the second part of the podcast, Jana Juzová, Senior Research Fellow at the European Institute for European Policy in Prague, discusses the start of the Czech EU presidency and the Slovak presidency within the Visegrad Group, along with their plans and obstacles that these presidencies might be faced with. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief) and Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director).
Peace Vs. Justice Debate for Ukraine Misses the Mark
16:37NATO summit meeting takes place this week, with security in the region being the main important topic on the docket. The political dimension of CEE turmoil with Czech and Bulgarian governments in peril and the possibility of new elections in these countries. New research coming from Visegrad Insight on China’s digital footprint in CEE. A paradigm shift coming from internal developments of policy in CEE countries that alters a European policy - specifically the enlargement policy. The issue with framing the Ukraine crisis as “Peace vs. Justice”. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief) and Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director).
Rethinking (Democratic) Security in CEE Amidst its Transformation
46:35The challenges to the Three Seas Initiative - problems, opportunities, and proposals for the region. EU candidate status of Ukraine to be confirmed this week, coming after four EU leaders visited Kyiv last week and voiced their support for Ukraine. The shift towards strategic questions of security and resilience from the Russian aggression balanced with democratic ideals. Increasing role of Romanian security services as a blast from the communist past. In the second part of the podcast, Andrew Michta, a Dean of the College of International and Security Studies at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, discusses the larger security architecture in the CEE region and the shift away from grand theory to the on-the-ground reality unfolding. The interview also previews what to expect from the NATO summit in Madrid at the end of June. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief) and Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director).
Morally Corrupt Romanian Elite in Defense and Intelligence
50:55European Parliament adopts a resolution calling on the European Council to agree to start the process to revise the EU Treaties. European Commission pushes pushed forward the approval of recovery funds to Poland regardless of compliance with the rule of law and despite dissent within the College. EU leaders meet in Kyiv. Russian-led Paks nuclear power expansion received the soil stabilisation permit from the Hungarian Atomic Energy Authority. In the second part of the podcast, Emilia Sercan, an investigative journalist in Romania, discusses her hundreds of journalistic investigations which revealed the plagiarism of doctoral theses of high-ranking Romanian politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister Gabriel Opera and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief), Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director), and Kamil Jaronczyk (Managing Editor).
EU's Grip of Political Control in Poland Released With Resilience Recovery Plan Adoption
28:13Insights from the GLOBSEC Forum meeting, notably missing key Hungarian and Polish representatives. The adoption of the Resilience Recovery plan comes at a (legal) price, as critics claim. Hungary attacks Ukraine on social media. Will the Visegrad format be forgotten when Czechia resumes the EU presidency? Common efforts in the Visegrad Group to increase candidate status for Ukraine minus Hungary. Planned cuts for public broadcasting and rumours of capturing political control in Czechia. PM Kallas in political turmoil as her party loses their coalition in Estonia. In the second part of the podcast, Christine Karelska, a Future of Ukraine Fellow, discusses the role of sports diplomacy in the battle against Russia due to its unjustified invasion of Ukraine. She specifies what role FIFA plays and teases what's ahead in her series featuring several national Ukranian football players who are taking up the fight against Russia. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief) and Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director).
Wishing Away Corruption Won't Solve the Problem
22:03Ongoing summits in the EU and the focus on democratic security in Europe with a nod towards Ukraine and the Western Balkans. Gas prices lower for Hungarian-registered cars at the checkout, leading to a new type of petrol tourism. The launch of Future of Ukraine fellowship publication schedule for the upcoming week: sport diplomacy, pro-Russian insurgency parties in Ukraine, and territorial claims in Europe. In the second part of the podcast, Krzysztof Izdebski, a Marcin Krol fellow and lawyer specialised in access to public information and re-use of public sector information, discusses the mirage of anti-corruption policies in Poland the unfulfilled promises to bring the state back to the people. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-chief), Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director), and Kamil Jarończyk (Managing Editor)
Can the Three Seas Initiative be the Vessel for a CEE Voice?
22:37The team summarises the time spent at the first Civil Society Forum based on a recommendation from a special report created by Visegrad Insight. We ask the larger questions in a search for a clarity of purpose for the Three Seas Initiative and what's in the future for it. Polish President Duda on a diplomatic offensive in Slovakia and Ukraine. Visiting Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová, Duda spoke about interconnections and possible Ukrainian membership to the EU. Polish-Ukrainian relationship grows stronger with further privileges for Ukrainians in Poland. Speakers: Wojciech Przybylski (Editor-in-Chief), Miles R. Maftean (Editorial Director), and Kamil Jarończyk (Managing Editor).