Krems Conference

The Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy: Poland – a divided society?

04/04/2018

Whether it is the controversial judicial reform, the discussion about the abortion ban, media policy or the relationship between Poland and the EU: the latest developments in Poland polarize. Against this backdrop the second edition of the Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy, which takes place on 19 and 20 April in the Albert Schweitzer House in Vienna, is dedicated to politics and society in Poland.

Do the current government’s anti-pluralistic tendencies and gender discourse influence daily life in Poland? What role does civil society and the media play in these processes? How and why has the relationship between the Polish government and the EU changed? And: is Polish society as divided as it seems from the outside? These questions about Polish politics and society are central themes at the Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy, organized by the Department of European Policy and the Study of Democracy at Danube University Krems.

At the conference, titled “What happened to Poland? – between Rzeczpospolita and a divided society,” four panels illuminate the democratic crisis in Poland, old and new cracks in Polish society, the topics media, culture, and education and Poland’s relationship with the EU.

Experts from academia, politics and culture
The conference brings together academics, politicians and culturally active participants. The keynote, for example, will be delivered by Sławomir Sierakowski, media representative and founder of Krytyka Polityczna, one of the most active Polish left-wing organisations, and director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.

Other participants include Dr. Barbara Gaweda from the Institute of International Relations in Prague, Dr. Justyna Frelak from the Institute of Public Affairs in Warsaw, Pawel Wodzinski, director of the Biennale Warsaw, Dr. Ulrike Guérot, Head of the Departments for European Policy and Study of Democracy at Danube University Krems.

“Europe whole and free, a thing of the past – at least if one looks at the current discussions on the enactment of the ECJ verdict on refugee distribution, the deterioration of constitutionality and democracy in Poland and Hungary, or the elections in the Czech Republic,” explains political scientist Ulrike Guérot. “At stake here, with regard to Eastern Europe, is nothing short of the legacy of 1989, when the Iron Curtain came down,” says the Head of the Department of European Policy and Study of Democracy.

The Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy is organized once a year by the Department of European Policy and Study of Democracy, Danube University Krems. The conference outcomes are published in the Krems publication series on European democracy by Dietz publishing house. The first edition of the Krems publication series is dedicated to the theme of the last Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy, namely democracy and society in France.

Krems Annual Conference on European Democracy: “What happened to Poland? – between Rzeczpospolita and a divided society”

When:    19 and 20 April 2018
Begin:    2 pm
Where:   Albert-Schweitzer-Haus
               Schwarzspanierstraße 13, 1090 Vienna

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