Central European Research Hub – reOPEN

The European project and liberal democracies are in crisis. They are losing the trust of Europeans and are unable to face the changed balance of global forces, whether the problem is the geopolitical influence of China, Russia and the USA, or radical Islam or migratory pressure. The European institutions and national political representations stubbornly defend the existing power relations and ideological order and repeat the recipes of the 1980s and 1990s, which, as the development since the mid-decade shows, are losing purchase at a radical pace. Instead of self-reflection and reassessment of these policies, they look for the causes of the crisis in the effects of external phenomena such as Russia‘s power or in the insufficiently organic acceptance of the European project and its ideology, which they, without exception, call populism.

The countries of Central Europe in particular then become the site of the most visible conflict between the crisis ridden European project and the formulation of various political, institutional and ideological alternatives. That is perhaps why they are regularly accused of a lack of solidarity, democracy or Europeanism. Despite all its problems and the shortcomings of the alternatives that are formulated, Central Europe is a victim of the double standards of the European elites. The widespread demonization of these alternative projects is as foolish as their adoration. What unites the so-called populist movements and the current ideology of the European project is the inability to find solutions that would meet the needs of 21st century Europe.

This project is looking for solutions that meet today‘s needs. It is committed to the ideal of a free and democratic Europe that lives by the principles of social justice and respects its new members in the same way as the old ones. Finding a functional model for the European project requires discussion. It must be led without prejudice, revive forgotten traditions of thought and, above all, step out of the elite world of political, academic and technocratic debates. Our mission is to stimulate and organize such a debate.

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Coordinator

Petr Drulák

drulak@iir.cz

Petr Drulák is professor of international relations at the West Bohemian University in Pilsen and senior research fellow at the Institute of International Relations in Prague. He has authored a number of scholarly articles and books on international politics and Czech foreign policy, and he regularly writes opinion pieces in the Czech media. From 2014 to 2019 he served as deputy foreign minister and Czech ambassador to France. Drawing on his practical experience he believes that the current mainstream of the European politics is neither ready nor able to deal with the fundamental challenges that Europe’s societies are facing. He has co-founded the reOPEN to contribute to the quest for alternatives.

Coordinator

Petr Agha

petr.agha@centrum.cz

(cz) Petr Agha studoval a působil na Queens University Belfast, University of Glasgow , University of Antwerpen a University of Helsinki. V současné době působí jako vědecký pracovník v Ústavu státu a práva Akademie věd ČR a vyučuje na Právnické fakultě Univerzity Karlovy. Zabývá se průsečíkem mezi právem, politikou a technokracií a jejími důsledky pro správu věcí veřejných. Je autorem nebo spoluautorem knih a textů publikovaných v předních mezinárodních vydavatelstvích. Spoluzakládá reOPEN, protože chce pomáhat najít funkční model Evropského projektu.

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