Budapest Forum 2023: Building Sustainable Democracies

11.10.2023 – 12.10.2023

Panel Discussion
It's the economy, stupid! The undervalued role of inequality and inflation in undermining democracy

October 12th,  11:00 - 12:15


DAPHNE HALIKIOPOULOU, Chair of Comparative Politics at the University of York
MICHAEL JENNEWEIN, Researcher for Democracy and Economics at FES Democracy of the Future
PIERGIUSEPPE FORTUNATO, Economist at United Nations Conference On Trade And Development
TAMÁS BOROS, Executive Director and Co-Founder, Equilibrium Institute of Budapest
MODERATOR: ZSUZSANNA SZELÉNYI, Program Director, CEU Democracy Institute Leadership Academy; author and former politician

About Budapest Democracy Forum

Based on the success of the last two years, Budapest Forum will return in 2023. The two-day conference will be organized again by the Municipality of Budapest, Political Capital, and CEU Democracy Institute to discuss the most pressing issues currently facing citizens of democratic and nominally democratic countries. The Forum will explore and examine policy proposals under the banner of ‘Building Sustainable Democracies’.

Budapest Forum has hit the international policy event scene in the last two years gathering mayors, ministers, commissioners, MEPs, policy experts, academics and activists for 37 panels and sessions, multiple side events and discussions. The public interest was equally large with more than 600 in-person participants at CEU Budapest Campus and 61.000 viewers online, as well as hundreds of Hungarian and international media appearances. The feedback from participants and partners was very positive, highlighting the organizational quality, impressive line-up, thematic diversity and hitting a niche with the role of cities in addressing the most pressing challenges of our time.

In 2023, we would focus on the topic of Sustainable Peace – how to achieve peace in the era of authoritarian aggression, and how to maintain peace, creating the conditions for a predictable, sustainable life amid concerns over energy shortages, high inflation, and declining living standards. Our democracies are being challenged by widening divisions caused by a variety of internal and external forces. Some tensions are purposefully fanned by populists, whilst others are related to more organic societal changes, all of which need a concerted effort and broad cooperation to tackle. At the upcoming Budapest Forum conference, we want to tackle these challenges together with decision-makers and experts from around the world, to drive the discussion as well as impactful policy solutions.

Budapest Forum is a markedly pro-democratic, anti-populist Central Eastern European platform. After the success of last year’s policy-heavy discussions focusing on the most pressing challenges democracy is facing today, we are convinced that it is not only the multitude of crises that define our time, but also the commitment and the intellectual prowess of broad segments of our societies to tackle these crises. The palpable interest that we have seen, attested that we are on the right path when we seek to galvanize policy debates across borders and levels of government, and provide a joint platform for all relevant stakeholders in search of a sustainable and democratic future.

More information: 

Watch the panel discussion below