Event Recap

Europa Fellowship 2021

September 2, 2021

Taking place at the historic Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary from August 21 to August 26, the Europa Fellowship convened twelve distinguished faculty members and twenty fellows representing eight countries in Europe and North America. More than half of the fellows were mid-career professionals who contribute to the private sector, academia, government, and civil society, while other fellows were recent college graduates, early-career professionals, or graduate students.

The fellowship sessions promoted liberal democracy, fundamental freedoms, and constitutional justice. Throughout the week, faculty and fellows participated in seminar sessions exploring a range of topics including liberty and constitutionalism, identity politics, free enterprise and entrepreneurship, the causes of human misery and flourishing, the politics of catastrophes, and the nature and debasement of human rights.

Cultural enrichment was also an important component of the fellowship. Participants were able to explore concepts of beauty through sessions on art, music, and architecture. Fellows, faculty, and CSS staff enjoyed a candle-lit organ concert in the castle’s chapel, an educational wine tasting exploring the region’s viticulture, dinner with gypsy jazz music, a historical tour of the Castle and introduction to its rare book collections and archives, as well as piano and quartet concerts.

On the last afternoon, fellows engaged in a formal debate on the motion: “Should the state promote virtue?” The debate was vigorous, civil, and intellectually challenging for all participants. The jury, composed of faculty and staff, ruled in favor of the team arguing against the motion.

Following the debate, Europa Fellowship participants were joined by Common Sense alumni—fellows of previous Summer Leadership Academies—for a closing gala dinner featuring an operatic performance with piano accompaniment.

The growing network of CSS alumni will continue to be engaged through dedicated alumni events and future fellowships. The first such event was a luncheon with Europa Fellowship Faculty and CSS Council of Trustee member Professor Niall Ferguson, held September 9 at the exquisite Gerbeaud Café in downtown Budapest. The twenty participants enjoyed a lively discussion about present challenges to liberty, including the ways in which emergencies are used to undermine freedom.

Common Sense Society–Hungary (CSS–HU) is a nonprofit organization that promotes liberty, prosperity, and beauty through education and public discourse. The educational fellowships, curriculum resources, publications, cultural programs, community initiatives, and national campaigns of CSS–HU illuminate the enduring ideas that have transformed the course of human history for the better. CSS–HU does not receive funding from governments or political parties.

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