Public webinars on national Policy and Discourse Analyses
A substantial part of RevivEU research is formed by both Policy and Discourse Analyses, which in the first part researched the national attitudes to the four core topics of the project in the V4 countries. During the research, we looked at various discourses and narratives that the V4 politicians and parties highlighted in their communication of the four project topics (climate, migration, Next GenerationEU as an answer to the covid-19 pandemic, and the rule of law). The Policy Analyses explore the official stands and approaches to the chosen policies by the four EU Member States.
The publications will soon be available in the Research section, and the main findings were presented during a number of public webinars organised in English and the national languages. These took place from the 23rd of May to the 30th of June. These presentations will be followed by a series of webinars on the Comparative Analysis, which explores the differences in the discourse and policies between the V4 countries in the four topics.
The webinar in Poland took place on June 21, via the Zoom platform. The event was opened by Adam Szlapka, president of the Group on the Future of the EU in the Sejm. Afterwards, dr. Milosz Hodun presented the RevivEU project and key findings of the discourse analysis and data analysis part. The presentation was followed by a discussion with participants of the event.
The most interesting pieces of the research, from the participants’ perspective, were the ones that are currently on the political agenda and may shape the campaign before Polish general elections in autumn 2023 and European elections in 2024, namely migration and Next Generation EU. The first one is being extensively used by the Polish government to polarize the society and to mobilize its own electorate, and the latter one is used by the opposition in the discourse about inflation and economic stagnation.
Participants were also interested in how Polish discourse looks like in comparison with other countries of the region, in particular with Hungary. Several participants showed their interested in future presentations on data from the RevivEU programme, seven contacted Projekt: Polska directly after the event asking for access to full reports.
The discussion on discourse analysis and policy analysis with the participants focused on their perspectives regarding climate issues, the rule of law, migration, and the Next Generation EU initiative in Slovakia. The participants exhibited a high level of sensitivity towards climate concerns and expressed worries about the state of the rule of law. However, it was evident that some participants lacked relevant information and found certain aspects of the topics confusing.
During the discussion, participants expressed their deep concerns about climate issues and their impact on Slovakia. They emphasized the need for effective policies to combat climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and promote sustainable practices. The participants acknowledged the importance of transitioning to renewable energy sources and adopting eco-friendly policies to mitigate environmental degradation.
In terms of the rule of law, the participants expressed apprehension about its current state in Slovakia. They discussed the importance of a strong and independent judiciary, transparency, accountability, and equal access to justice. There were concerns raised about the potential erosion of democratic values and institutions, highlighting the need for safeguarding the rule of law and democratic principles.
Migration was another topic of discussion, with participants sharing diverse viewpoints. Some participants emphasized the humanitarian aspect and the need to provide assistance and support to refugees and migrants. Others expressed concerns about the strain on resources and potential socio-economic challenges associated with large-scale migration.
Regarding the Next GenerationEU initiative, the participants acknowledged its potential benefits in terms of economic recovery and support for sustainable development projects. However, there were uncertainties and confusion regarding the specifics of the initiative, its implementation, and how it would directly impact Slovakia.
Throughout the discussion, it became evident that some participants lacked relevant information and detailed knowledge about certain aspects of the discussed topics. This knowledge gap contributed to confusion and uncertainty among the participants. It emphasized the importance of providing accessible and accurate information to foster a more informed and productive dialogue.
In conclusion, the discourse analysis and policy analysis discussion with the participants highlighted their sensitivity towards climate issues and concerns about the state of the rule of law in Slovakia. While recognizing the importance of addressing these challenges, participants also expressed the need for more comprehensive and easily understandable information. This emphasizes the importance of engaging in open and informed discussions to foster a deeper understanding of complex issues and enable effective policymaking.
The webinars presenting findings from both Policy and Discourse analyses for Czechia took place in the first half of June 2023 and were split based on the 4 targeted topics. Each webinar presented the public narratives and discourse prevalent in the given topic in Czechia, presented by EUROPEUM researcher Klára Votavová, the lead for Discourse Analysis. We then moved on to the analysis of Policy, on the topics of Rule of Law, NGEU and migration presented by lead RevivEU researcher Vít Havelka, while to topic of climate neutrality was presented by Rebeka Hengalová, member of EUROPEUM´s Green Europe Programme.
The participation in the webinars varied based on the attractiveness of the topic for the Czech audience – migration and the NGEU topics being relatively interesting for a combination of a wider audience, academicians and journalists. The most popular topic was climate, and really interesting also for policymakers and officials. Most of the feedback from the participants was positive, with many asking afterwards about other nuances and findings and expressing their will to read the final publication and eagerly awaiting the comparative analyses of the V4 findings coming in autumn. The recordings of the four webinars, held in Czech, is available here.
Over the last one and a half decades, the European Union had to confront various challenges and crisis processes that called for a combination of policy responses at the supra-national and the national levels. While some of these responses reinforced the EU as a multi-level polity, others tested its resilience via heated debates and disagreements on the appropriate level of competence distribution between Brussels and the member states.
On the 28th of June 21 Research Center presented their main findings on the Hungarian part of the story in the context of four issue areas where these debates played out with full force: migration, the NGEU fund in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, rule of law, and climate change. Researchers from the 21 Research Center and invited guest Dr. András Szalai, associate professor ELTE TÁTK and Research Fellow at CEU Democracy Institute will present original survey data, policy analysis, and the discursive framing strategies of the Hungarian government throughout these debates. The presentation was followed by a discussion with Dr. Valéria Horváth, attorney at law and an expert on international migration law.