Event Recap

Europa Fellowship 2022

szeptember 15, 2022

Taking place at the historic Károlyi Castle in Fehérvárcsurgó, Hungary from August 21 to August 26, the Europa Fellowship convened nine distinguished faculty members, two key performers, and twenty fellows representing six 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, measures and mis-measures of human problems, music, 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 concerts. Participants learned about local flora, fuana 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 for the motion.

Following the debate, Europa Fellowship participants were joined by Common Sense alumni—fellows of previous Summer Leadership Academies and the 2022 Europa Fellowship—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, future fellowships, and regular CSS events in Hungary and at other national branches.

It’s too easy to become intellectually and spiritually downtrodden these days, no matter how enthusiastic or inquisitive one is. Attending the Europa Fellowship was the perfect antidote. The gorgeous setting, the excellent professors and fellows, and the lively debate and discussion serve as a wake up call in the best way possible. I can easily say that I learned more in one week than I did in a semester of university, and have emerged refreshed, inspired, and ready to take on my academic and professional projects with renewed verve and vigor!

Sofia Wernick, Fellow

A Common Sense Society Magyarország (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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