Budapest Forum

(21.09.2022 – 22.09.2022)

Building Sustainable Democracies



After the successful inaugural Budapest Forum – Building Sustainable Democracies in 2021, this year the organizers – the Municipality of Budapest, Political Capital Institute and CEU Democracy Institute – will once again organize this prestigious international conference, in partnership with strategic, institutional and media partners.

Budapest Forum has hit the international policy event scene with a splash, gathering close to 100 mayors, ministers, commissioners, MEPs, policy experts, academics and activists for 22 panels and sessions, multiple side events and discussions. The public interest was equally large with more than 450 in-person participants at CEU Budapest Campus and 49.300 viewers online, as well as 49 Hungarian and 41 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 2022 we want to keep cities high on the agenda, whilst focusing more in depth on two main themes: Building Democratic Resilience (democracy) and Just Climate Transition (sustainability). 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. Meanwhile the climate crisis forces leaders and citizens alike to make changes in the way we live for a long-term sustainable life on our planet. We are also becoming more and more aware of the social and security impact that the ‘green transition’ entails, which needs to be addressed. 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 aims to establish itself as 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.

We, as co-organizing partners, the Municipality of Budapest, Political Capital Institute and CEU Democracy Institute, will draw upon this valuable experience this year when organizing the second Budapest Forum, scheduled for September 21-22. We are looking forward to expanding our growing Budapest Forum network with the most impactful changemakers.