Free Speech and Freedom of Thought: British and European Conservative Visions of the Future of Europe

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024. Venue: Lónyay-Hatvany Villa - 1. Csónak str., 1015 Budapest

Joint Conference of the Danube Institute and the Ludovika University of Public Service.

This is an academic conference about the future of Europe, after the European Elections, in our series of conferences on British Conservatism. The first such event took place 2 years ago, at the Danube Institute. Last year we were at Churchill College, Cambridge, and now we are back in Budapest. Participants are British, European and American scholars and public intellectuals.

2024 is a year of elections. Not only in the UK and the USA but also in the European Parliament and in a number of the European member states. In Hungary, there will be local and European elections. These, together with a number of critical issues, including the war in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip, make the year politically exceptionally open-ended.

The Western world finds itself in a crisis. The culture war, initiated by extreme leftist movements, including Woke, the migration crisis, the lack of adequate energy supply, and threats of global nuclear war – all of that requires strong and dedicated leadership in Europe and the Anglo World.

Conservative intellectuals are often criticised for turning nostalgically towards the past without much thought about the present and even less about the future. This is the time to organise a conference in our British conservatism series about the future of Europe – from different British and continental conservative perspectives. 

In Britain, the Tory party is expected to fall out of power, after managing Brexit, in the USA Trump, who divides the camp of traditional Republican intellectuals, will run again against Biden for presidency. In Europe, the so far excluded right wing powers can have a great success. All of those changes will require imagination and practical wisdom from political leaders. While the left has already presented certain scenarios for the future, conservatives have not made their voice heard on the way they would like to shape the future of the continent. This conference on Conservative Visions of the Future of Europe would like to provide the opportunity for just that discussion.

8.30-9.15: Registration

9.15-9.30 Opening remarks

  • John OSullivan CBE, President, Danube Institute
  • István Kiss, Executive Director, Danube Institute
  • Ferenc Hörcher, Director of the Research Institute of Politics and Government, Ludovika University of Public Service

9.35-10.35 First session: European Political Values – British Political Realities

  • Calum T.M. Nicholson, Director of Research, Danube Institute: “European Culture & Values: What Is So Distinctive?”
  • Daniel Pitt, Teachers Associate at University of Sheffield: "The Conservative Party: Europe and Manifesto Constitutional Silence from 1945 to 2019"

10.35-10.45 COFFEE BREAK

10.45-12.00 Second Session: Conservative Political Philosophers on the Future of Europe II. European Perspectives

  • P. Bracy Bersnak, Acting Chair, department of political science and economics at Christendom College: “Joseph de Maistre’s Critique of Rationalism and the Future of Europe” (online)
  • Ferenc Hörcher, political philosopher and historian, Ludovika University of Public Service: “Popes Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI on Europe“
  • Sebastian Morello, Senior Editor of The European Conservative, author & philosopher: “Robert Spaemann and the Proposal of a Liturgical Politics“

12.00-13.00 LUNCH BREAK

13.00-14.00 Third Session: Conservative Political Philosophers on the Future of Europe I. British Perspectives

  • Ojel L. Rodriguez Burgos, Lecturer/Analyst/Researcher University of the Sacred Heart, San Juan PR: “Kenneth Minogue, Conservatism, and the Challenge of the Reactionary Global Right“ (online)
  • André P. DeBattista, Assistant Lecturer, Institute for European Studies, University of Malta: “Christopher Dawson and the History of Europe: Some insights for the debate on culture and identity in Europe”

14.00-14.15 COFFEE BREAK

14.15-15.15 Fourth Session: Free Speech and Freedom of Thought

  • Matt Beech, Director of the Centre for British Politics, UC Berkeley: “Challenges to European Conservatism: Culture, Law, and Free Speech“
  • Alvino-Mario Fantini, Editor-in-chief of the The European Conservative: “Towards a New ‘Fusionism’: Intellectual Freedom & the Dangers of Right-Wing Factionalism”

15.15-15.30 COFFEE BREAK

15.30-16.30 Fifth Session: The Future of the European Right

  • Phillip Blond, Director of ResPublica: "Augustus or Mao - the future of Democracy?"
  • Francesco Giubilei, President of Nation Futura & Fondazione Tatarella: "Why the Future of Europe Belongs to Conservatives"

16.30-17.15 Sixth Session: General Discussion

Language: English

Date: Tuesday, June 18, 2024
Venue: Lónyay-Hatvany Villa - 1. Csónak str., 1015 Budapest
(Entrance: Aranybástya Restaurant)

We reserve the right to make changes to the organisation of events. Participation in the event is free of charge, but requires pre-registration by clicking on the R.S.V.P. button: