Event Recap

2023 Europa Fellowship

September 28, 2023

The Europa Fellowship is like diving in the sea: even if you know what you are searching for, you can discover something unexpected.

Blanka Bartos, 2023 Europa Fellowship alumna

Common Sense Society–Hungary is proud to have hosted yet another successful Europa Fellowship at the historic Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary, August 20 – 25.

The program convened eleven distinguished faculty members, two key performers, and twenty fellows representing nine 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.

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, human rights, expertise and the problem of technocracy, European history, geopolitics and the European Union, music, and the listening culture.

Cultural enrichment was also an integral component of the fellowship. Participants explored concepts of beauty through sessions on art, aesthetics, and music. 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, as well as piano concerts. Participants learned about local flora, fauna, and conservation efforts at a hike through the nearby Gaja-valley and enjoyed a carriage-ride from the Castle to the nearby forest.

On the last afternoon, fellows engaged in a formal debate on the motion: “Should the state support art and culture?” 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 Society alumni—fellows of previous Summer Leadership Academies and the 2021 and 2022 Europa Fellowships—for a closing gala dinner and a violin and piano concert.

The growing network of CSS alumni will continue to be engaged through dedicated alumni events, future fellowships, and regular CSS events in Hungary and at other National Branch sites.

I am tremendously grateful for this week of discussions and exchanges. The faculty was well-chosen, the topics provoking, and the setting beautiful.

Xavier Bisits, 2023 Europa Fellowship alumnus
Common Sense Society is grateful to the Federalist Society and Mathias Corvinus Collegium for their support of the 2023 Europa Fellowship.
View more photos from the 2023 Europa Fellowship here.
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