Archiwa tagu: Freedom

Confronting Bigotry and Intolerance in the Face of Rising Populism – interview with Marek Tatala

Marek Tatala was one of the participants of the Promoting Tolerance Programme 2017 (today known as Advancing Democracy). The topic of the 25th edition of the Programme is “Confronting Bigotry and Intolerance in the Face of Rising Populism”. Interview was recorded in Berlin during the seminar predating the study trip to the United States of America.

For a quarter of a century the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have worked together on the Promoting Tolerance Programme (known today as the Advancing Democracy Programme). The Programme was established only a few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Since its creation in 1992, the Programme has served as a platform for dialogue, aiming to improve the rights of minorities, to foster pluralism and diversity and to fight discrimination, racism and xenophobia. Those 25 years in advancing democracy and building civil society would not have been possible without our 320 alumni from 25 countries from Central, East and Southeast Europe– emerging and established leaders from NGOs, political parties, think tanks and media- who became the main ambassadors of the values of the Programme in their respective countries.

What are the main challenges that populism poses to your country?

Marek Tatala spoke about populism in Poland as one of the participants of the Promoting Tolerance Programme 2017 (today known as Advancing Democracy). The topic of the 25th edition of the Programme is “Confronting Bigotry and Intolerance in the Face of Rising Populism”. This interview was recorded in Berlin during the seminar predating the study trip to the United States of America.

For a quarter of a century the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) have worked together on the Promoting Tolerance Programme (known today as the Advancing Democracy Programme). The Programme was established only a few years after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of communist regimes in Eastern Europe. Since its creation in 1992, the Programme has served as a platform for dialogue, aiming to improve the rights of minorities, to foster pluralism and diversity and to fight discrimination, racism and xenophobia. Those 25 years in advancing democracy and building civil society would not have been possible without our 320 alumni from 25 countries from Central, East and Southeast Europe– emerging and established leaders from NGOs, political parties, think tanks and media- who became the main ambassadors of the values of the Programme in their respective countries.

European Endowment for Unstable Democracies?

eed_0During the Polish think tanks’ visit in Brussels I was invited to the opening of the European Endowment for Democracy (EED). The Endowment is located in a small palace – a former embassy building handed over by Poland. This location expresses the financial structure of this organization, which is sponsored mostly by our country. It is why many Polish politicians, diplomats and the government representatives, including Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, turned up at the opening. Lower enthusiasm for this initiative among the other EU countries was reflected by the absence of any important representatives from the rest of the governments. I am rather doubtful about the possible success of the EED after what I heard and saw in Brussels and at the EED’s website.

Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said during the opening:

“This is a repayment of our debts that we owe to all our supporters in the 1970s and 80s. This is also a confirmation of the Polish expertise and know-how that can inspire democratic changes.”

At the EED’s website we can read that:

“The European Endowment for Democracy will assist: pro-democratic civil society organisations, movements and individual activists acting in favour of a pluralistic multiparty system regardless of their size or formal status. The EED will also provide assistance to young leaders, independent media and journalists, provided that all the beneficiaries adhere to core democratic values and human rights as well as subscribe to principles of non-violence.”

In this flow of optimistic words and lofty declarations, from the EED opening and the website, several important keywords were missing. These keywords are essential for creating a durable and prosperous democratic system and include: economic freedom, well defined and secured property rights, rules of law, free exchange of goods and services, unconstrained and open competition, limited state, and economic well-being.

Czytaj dalej