The conference started with the Ukraine Panel, which was virtually joined by EAPC member Andrii Kruglashov from Kiev. Gerald Knaus inspired the audience with his comprehensive presentation, as did Zhanna Tikhaya with her personal experiences as a refugee from the war zone. The panel was moderated by Christoph Hofinger from Austria.
The second panel was all about Europe. The former Prime Minister of Slovenia, Alojz Peterle, impressed not only with his comprehensive remarks, but also with the European anthem, which he played on his harmonica at the end. Gerda Füricht-Fiegl, Austria, as well as Anthony Grally and Sébastien Couderc, both from France, rounded off this panel, moderated by Thomas Hofer from Austria.
The morning of the first day of the conference, moderated by Gülfem Saydan Sanver, Turkey, was concluded with the panel “What do pandemic, war and climate crisis do to democracy? Assessment from the perspective of public opinion research”. Christoph Hofinger, Austria, Torbjörn Sjöström, Sweden, and Brent Buchanan, USA, spoke on this topic.
The afternoon was opened by the head of the ODIHR of the OSCE, Meaghan Fitzgerald, who had come from Warsaw especially for the occasion. In her presentation she explained in detail the tasks of election observation. In the future, there should be a closer cooperation with the EAPC. Eva Zeglovits from Austria accompanied the panel.
The first day of the conference concluded with analyses of the most important elections of spring 2022, starting with Attila Mesterházy from Hungary, moderated by Necati Özkan, Turkey, followed by Milica Katić, Serbia, Arnaldo Costeira, Portugal and Anthony Grally, France, moderated by Justine Cassar Gaspar, Malta.
The second day focused on future issues facing the industry. The panel “Future trends in political consulting” moderated by Gülfem Saydan Sanver, Turkey, kicked off with Gary Nordlinger, USA, Matt Klink, USA, Necati Özkan, Turkey and Igor Mintusov, Russia.
The second panel of the day was “The role of women in political consulting” and was as impressive in content as it was in overall panel strength. With Gülfem Saydan Sanver, Turkey, Ekaterina Egorova, Russia, Zhanna Tikhaya, Ukraine, Ana Fernandes, Portugal, Justine Cassar Gaspar, Malta and moderator Susanne Hartinger, Austria, there was a high caliber panel.
The morning concluded with the panel “Political Consulting – Next Generation” where, under the moderation of Gerda Füricht-Fiegl, Tereza Vahančíková, Slovakia, Zurab Samadalashvili, Georgia, and Fiorda Llukmani, Albania, inspired with their remarks. .
The afternoon of the second day was devoted to the upcoming elections. The first panel was “U.S. Midterm Elections” with Gary Nordlinger and Matt Klink, both USA, moderated by Faye Diamond, also USA.
This was followed by a look ahead to the elections in Sweden in the fall of 2022, analyzed by Torbjörn Sjöström, Sweden, and the parliamentary elections in Turkey planned for 2023, with Necati Özkan, Turkey, under the moderation of Mehmet Ural, Turkey.
Susanne Hartinger from Austria guided through the program on both days.