MEPs from Central Europe: A Bulwark Against Authoritarianism

As the Members of the European Parliament’s ninth term closed their books, PSSI teamed up with Political Capital and partners to track the views of incumbent MEPs from the V4, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania on authoritarian regimes. We used qualitative and quantitative methods to build an accurate picture of MEPs’ positions on authoritarian countries. PSSI contributed to the effort with an analysis of Czech MEPs.

Although most delegations from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) are highly critical of the Kremlin, China and other authoritarian countries in the European Parliament, there are significant differences among them. While the Polish and Czech mainstream parties are staunch critics of authoritarians in the international and domestic arena, other mainstream parties from Austria, Bulgaria, and Romania are not as committed at home. Some populist radical and far-right parties seem to be close friends of authoritarians. Some parties such as Hungary’s Fidesz, Slovakia’s SMER-SD and Bulgaria’s BSP can be considered “soft defenders”. These parties engage in discourse similar to the far right, but intentionally abstain from voting due to political and reputational risks.


You can find a summary of the findings here


This project was realized in partnership with Political Capital and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy.