Online Event: “European Solidarity and COVID Recovery: Hungary and the Czech Republic”, September 16

The debate on the future of Europe has gained a new momentum due to the COVID-19 pandemic and related recovery measures adopted by the EU. The pandemic has culminated in different attitudes towards the concept of solidarity in Hungary and the Czech Republic: how do these attitudes differ, and why do they differ?

On Thursday September 16 at 10:00 CET, TEPSA will join with its Member Institute from Hungary, the Institute of World Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies (IWE CERS) to explore these questions and more in the framework of the upcoming publication of TEPSA’s new book Solidarity in Action and the Future of Europe: Views from the Capitals.



Hungary has been at the forefront of internal divisions within the EU for years. With the Orbán administration at the helm, anti-EU rhetoric rests at the heart of the Hungarian government’s approach to EU policy, both at home and in Brussels. Despite this, all major opposition parties support further EU integration and are generally trusting of the European Union. In this context, European solidarity in the wake of COVID-19 has become something of a political hot potato.

In the Czech Republic, together with “rule of law” or “EU values”, the concept of European solidarity has come to be seen as part of the moralizing rhetoric of the “old” elites in the EU. Thus, the concept is becoming a tool of division, a predominantly negative notion.


  • Zdeněk Sychra, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of West Bohemia,
  • András Inotai, Professor Emeritus, former Director of the Institute of World Economics,
  • Norbert Szijártó, Research Fellow, Institute of World Economics, CERS,
  • András Bíró-Nagy, Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Political Science, Centre for Social Sciences, Department for Government and Public Policy.
  • Moderated by: Andrea Elteto, Senior Research Felow, Institute of World Economics, CERS.

Can European solidarity help to tip the scales away from Euroscepticism, or even move them in favour of building a stronger, more integrated Union?