The 22nd edition of the Visegrad Summer School is approaching!

We are delighted to be approaching the 22nd edition of the Visegrad Summer School! As we look forward to welcoming you, we would like to take this opportunity to share more about the programme, the activities you will be taking part in and the experts who will be leading you through this experience.

Following its inaugural implementation in 2002, the school has evolved to encompass a diverse range of topics, including those pertaining to the political, social, and cultural challenges currently facing Europe. This ten-days experience, which will be enriched by the insights and expertise of international experts, researchers, politicians, journalists, and other distinguished figures from the academic and professional realms, promises to be both enlightening and inspiring.

This year, the Visegrad Summer School will address the subject of the media and its future. The transformation of the media is having a significant impact on our current narratives, leading to a greater individualisation of thought and the to engage with the rising issues of misinformation, freedom of speech, and the adoption of (common) critical strategies. Such complex topics need the expertise of prestigious figures. For this reason, the 22nd edition of the Visegrad Summer School will welcome esteemed protagonists of the European and international realm.

On the occasion of the inauguration day, Monday 1st July, we will have the privilege of welcoming four distinguished representatives of the Visegrad group: the National Coordinator of Visegrad Cooperation and Deputy Director of the European Policy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Rafał Domisiewicz, the Consul of Hungary – Márta Ritecz-Sekulic, the Consul General of the Slovak Republic –  Zlata Šipošová and the Ambassador of Czech Republic – H.E. Břetislav Dančák, who will share their insights on the future perspective of the Visegrad Group. The afternoon will proceed looking at the future of Central Europe with Prof. Michal Vašečka, Programme Director of the Bratislava Policy Institute.

On Tuesday the 2nd, we are honoured to welcome an eminent panel of speakers, including Dr. Václav Štětka, Lecturer in Comparative Political Communication at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Loughborough University, the Executive Director of the Western Balkans Fund – Gjergj Murra, the Assistant Professor at the Metropolitan University Prague and board member of the think tank Eurothink – Dr. Michal Vit, Policy Researcher – Ljupcho Petkovski, the Journalist – Vuk Uskoković, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberté – Leszek Jażdżewski. They will engage in a constructive dialogue on the crucial themes of freedom, pluralism and cooperation.

The programme will follow considering the challenges journalism is facing in the modern world and the digital era. To lead the participants through this, we are honoured to have the editor in chief of the SME daily newspaper – Beata Balogová, the journalist and CPJ's Berlin-based Europe representative – Attila Mong, the editor-in-chief of Visegrad Insight in Warsaw – Wojciech Przybylski, and Head of Advisory at Future Mind – Izabela Franke, as our esteemed speakers.

On Thursday the 4th, we will explore potential solutions to these challenges, with the valuable input of the advocacy expert on Russian expansionism –  Dr. Hanna Hopko, the coordinator of Media Freedom Rapid Response at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom – Gürkan Ozturan, the writer and former journalist – Ersan Pekin and the Director of Villa Decius – Dominika Kasprowicz. The day will conclude with a Multicultural Evening, which will provide an opportunity for participants to engage in cultural exchange and gain an understanding of each other's cultures and customs.

On Friday morning, we are thrilled to welcome Daniel Moßbrucker, a renowned journalist, who will enlighten us on the intriguing topic of digital surveillance in the journalism realm. This will be followed by an inspiring debate about Villa Decius, which has played a pivotal role in fostering cultural exchange over the years. Afterwards, participants can opt to attend the Etnofestival in the vibrant city of Krakow. To conclude the day, we would like to invite you to join us for Hungarian dances in the garden, followed by an open-air concert.

On Saturday the 6th and Sunday the 7th, we would like to dedicate some time to exploring the Malopolska area and the city of Krakow. On Saturday, we will have the opportunity to visit the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the Oshpitzin Jewish Museum, which serves as an important reminder of the past. On Sunday, we will enjoy a city tour of Krakow.

The new week will commence on Monday 8th with an enlightening workshop on the future of media, led by Agata Bisping, an expert in creativity and training, and Marcin Maciejewski, an educator and strategist. On Tuesday, the workshop will continue, showcasing the inspirational achievements of the participants.

The closing day of the programme, Wednesday the 10th, will start with an inspiring speech of the Executive Director of the Visegrad Fund – Ambassador Petr Mareš, followed by the presentation of participants’ projects and the ceremony of awarding certificates delivered by Mr. Petr Mareš and Ms. Dominika Kasprowicz. We will then conclude this edition of the Visegrad Summer School with an evaluation of these intense days spent together, after which we will enjoy a farewell lunch.

We are looking forward to welcoming you at in the historic Villa Decius, where the soul of the area will inspire participants to connect with each other, just as the green of the park blends perfectly with the spirit of the building.

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