On 30 November, ALDE Party and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) hosted a Liberal Breakfast on the liberal fight against populism in Europe.
During the event, Annelou van Egmond, ALDE Party Vice-President, and Adam Szłapka, Member of the Polish Parliament and leader of Nowoczesna, shared their insights and perspectives on the worrying populist wave in Europe as well as the consequences and the development of a post-pandemic populist discourse, which has gained public support in many EU Member States.
Referring to the situation in Poland, Szłapka said that the populist sentiment among citizens is decreasing. He stressed however that currently “Poland is not a liberal democracy anymore but an electing democracy” due to the breaches of rule of law, use of public media in favour of the government as well as the attacks to fundamental rights.
The speakers emphasized that education, stronger and independent institutions, and stronger civil society are needed to address this systematic threat. Moreover, European liberals should always speak out and protect democracy, especially now that is fragile in Europe.
“We need to address [populism] if and where we can but not just in reactions but with actions. We should defend democracy by making institutions stronger, making the whole processes more transparent. Education is always the solution because ignorance is a feeding ground for populists. We have to be aware that this is not a fight that can be dealt in a couple of months or even a couple of years,” van Egmond stressed.
Additionally, Matej Hruška, ALDE Party Data Analyst, shared a special presentation on the insights of an ALDE Party EU-wide survey focusing on populism and some of its manifestations. You can find the presentation here.
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