Conference Held on Ukraine and Democracy
16 December, 2014
Conference Held on Ukraine and Democracy

ICDT's conference titled "Democracy in Ukraine - On the Right Path?" was held successfully on 16 December, 2014 in Budapest. The conference was a closing event of our project dedicated to reveal the general Ukrainian attitude to democratic values and institutions and compare them with results of V4 countries.


The event started with a keynote speech from Dr. István Gyarmati, President of the ICDT, who expressed his gratitude to the International Visegrad Fund (IVF) for supporting the project. In his view, the results of the project clearly show that the commitment of Ukrainian people to democratic values is unquestionable. He strongly emphasized that at the resolution of the current crisis the most important thing is to consider the opinion of the Ukrainians on their country and how they think its fate should look like.   


The speech of Dr. Gyarmati was followed by the opening remarks of Mr. István Íjgyártó, Minister of State for Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary. Mr. Íjgyártó stressed that for the stabilization and consolidation of Ukraine it is essential to rehabilitate the economic and financial situation of the country and to help its reintegration in the international economic alliances. Mr. Ferenc Jári, Eastern Partnership Program Coordinator of the IVF gave voice to his hope that this study will help to share the experience the V4 countries gained over their transition with Ukraine, in terms of conducting reforms and implementing a consistent policy of European integration. Mr. Ákos Kozák, Managing Director of GfK Hungary.   



During the presentations, the researcher of GfK Hungary, Mr. Gábor Sugatagi and representatives of ICDT’s partner institutions, Mr. Michael Smith, Research Fellow of the Prague-based Institute for Social and Economic Analysis, Mr. Peter Goliaš, Director of Institute for Economic and Social Reforms in Bratislava, Ms. Iryna Bekeshkina, Director of the Democratic Initiatives Foundation in Kyiv and Mr. Bartosz Bartczak, Project Manager of the Gliwice-based Globalization Institute analyzed the results of the research survey, which was carried out in Ukraine in July, 2014 and drew up conclusions which might effectively support the democratic transition of the country.

Speakers all agreed that the example of the Visegrad countries, as models of successful transition countries, which’s history share a lot of similarities with that of Ukraine, could help us better understand the reality and specifications of the situation the latter is facing now. It was underlined that having a strong and democratic Ukraine is essential for prosperity and security not merely of its immediate neighbours but of the region as a whole. The survey’s results show that the rate of people who prefer democracy to dictatorship in Ukraine does not lag behind the Visegrad countries, and in general a positive trend in people’s view towards democratic values in visible. Nevertheless, Ukrainians have apparently less trust in political institutions (they are more sympathetic to the idea of having a strong, decisive leader rather than a parliament) and feel a stronger nostalgia for the State Socialist past than citizens of the V4 countries do.     




Among others, the presentations also revealed the positive correlation between economic reforms and the development of democracy, stating that economic freedom is a condition of any established democracy and the great majority of developed countries have stable democratic regimes, hence the speakers advocated for quick and decisive reforms by executing pro-market changes which benefit the welfare of people.

Finally, it was emphasized that Ukraine is at a crossroad where the main questions are whether it can survive as an independent country that is an integral part of Europe or Europe will turn away from Ukraine.

After the presentations, in a roundtable discussion, experts from Hungary, Ukraine and Poland exchanged views on the future of Ukraine and the most important issues the new Ukrainian government has to tackle.  

Press releases (Hungarian)

"Ukrajna:Egy újabb tömeges tiltakozás szétrobbantaná az országot"  - Népszabadság Online  
18th of December, 2014



The project is supported by the International Visegrad Fund


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