Research Report 31/03/2023

Democracy without Minorities

Democracy and human rights are two sides of the same coin. This is particularly important from the point of view of minorities. Democracy welded with human rights prevents it from turning into a dictate of the majority and includes the imperative to protect every single individual. Guaranteeing the rights of minorities is a prerequisite for the healthy development of democracy, one that allows for the free exchange of ideas and the formation of opinions, protects a fair electoral process, and allows for broad support for the system as such and for key decisions of those in power.

However, the respect for human rights and in particular minority rights, cannot be taken for granted. Neither in the semi-democratic states, nor within the European Union.  Poland and Hungary have lately become an “experimental ground” for creating new forms of democracy in Europe, where democratic expression is limited to participation in elections once every few years. The tri-partite division of power, the rule of law and the independent media are declining. Minorities and minority rights are also on the decline.

This publication “Democracy without Minorities: The relationship between minorities and populism in Poland and Hungary” addresses different minority groups, namely women, the LGBTQI community; the Roma and Jewish communities, migrants and refugees, national and ethnic minorities. Authors from Poland and Hungary describe how right-wing populists attack particular groups of society, and discuss the consequences and dangers of such targeted propaganda.

This publication is produced by Projekt: Polska with the support of the European Network of Political Foundations (ENoP). Co-funded by the European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union and ENoP. 

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