The economic decline of Central Europe together with a European lack of interest in the region can turn today's populists’ peaceful dreams into nightmares.
Warning signs are coming from Central Europe during the coronavirus crisis. Viktor Orbán empowered his government to rule without parliamentary oversight and pushed further his authoritarianism.
In Poland, even less than two weeks before the vote, it is not clear under what conditions and whether at all the presidential election will take place.
However, can we – in spite of these negative signals – see some light in the dark? Can the current situation be at the beginning of the transformation of Central Europe, which would at the end lead to greater openness and democracy?
Populist parties or movements with strong leaders dominate in the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and today also in Slovakia. Andrej Babiš, Viktor Orbán as well as the Law and Justice squad in Poland have enjoyed decent popularity for several years. They have benefited from economic stability, which has enabled new social benefits.
Today, however, the situation is changing. Even the long growing Central European economies will not escape the downturn and the worse socio-economic situation may affect political preferences.
Due to the uncertain epidemiological situation, it is not possible to say exactly how devastating the impact will be and whether our region would appear among the most severely affected. However, a scenario where Central Europe would have to undergo a radical transformation is possible. What could it look like?
Central Europe is in the position of being Europe’s supplier economy. This capacity might be threatened by fragmentation of the EU’s internal market, which may occur as a result of the promotion of domestic production and a long-term easing of state aid to companies in Western Europe.
Read the whole article by Vít Dostál in the link below.