Warsaw Summit

A From Democratic Backsliding to Re-Democratisation:
Learning from Poland’s Success Story

Register Here

Following the success of our launch event in the European Parliament in October 2023, DemoCrisis is hosting a conference on 17 April, 2024 at the Ministry of Justice in Warsaw under the auspices of the new Polish minister of Justice Adam Bodnar.

Following 8 years of dramatic democratic backsliding, a massive social movement and a unified opposition managed to win the elections in Poland and set the country on the path to re-democratisation. It did not only bring Poland on its democratic track but also symbolised for democracy activists across Europe and its wider region the ability to reverse the trend of democratic backsliding. Moreover, 2024 will see billions across the world go to the polls, including the EU elections, and democratic backsliding continues to threaten more countries.

We aim therefore to seize the opportunity towards re-democratisation of this historic year. DemoCrisis is therefore convening in Warsaw in order to celebrate the success of Poland’s democratic camp in the recent national elections, exchange on their best practices and lessons learned and how to replicate the Polish success in other European countries facing nationalistic populism.

The summit will bring together key figures from Poland and the EU institutions who have been dealing with the challenge of the backsliding of democracy in Poland and in other countries. This includes Justice Minister Bodnar, Former Vice-President of the EU Commission Frans Timmermans, VPs of the European Parliament Othmar Karas and Jan-Christoph Oetjen. Also speaking at the summit will be CSO leaders from Poland, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Germany, Belgium and Israel to learn from the Polish experience of re-democratisation and discuss them in a wider context.


Register here before 11 April

17 April, 09:00-17:30
DemoCrisis Summit

From Democratic Backsliding to Re-Democratisation: Learning from Poland’s Success Story

NFZ Auditorium, Rakowiecka 26/30, Warsaw

08:30-09:00 Registration & Reception

Greetings and Opening Note

Greetings: Mr. Dan Sobovitz, Co-Founder and Acting Managing Director, DemoCrisis
Opening Note: Mr. Adam Bodnar, Minister of Justice


1st Panel: Re-Democratising Challenges and Success Story of Poland

Moderator: Michal Wawrykiewicz, Wolne Sądy (Free Courts Civic Initiative), Board member of DemoCrisis

  • Adv. Michał Wawrykiewicz,  Wolne Sądy (Free Courts Civic Initiative
  • Prof. Miroslaw Wyrzykowski, former judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, member of the 255 Committee
  • Prof. Maciej Taborowski, The Institute of Legal Studies, The Polish Academy of Sciences 
  • Mr. Jakub Kocjan, Rule of Law campaigner & Board member, Akcja Demokracja
  • Ms. Maia Mazurkiewicz, Head of StratCom, Alliance for Europe
10:30-10:45 Break 

2nd Panel: The State of Liberal-Democratic CSOs Fighting Populism in Europe and the Region & Building Solidarity Networks Among CSOs

Moderator: Dan Sobovitz, Co-Founder and Acting Managing Director, DemoCrisis

12:00-12:45 Lunch 


Mr. Frans Timmermans, former Vice President Commissioner, leader of the GroenLinks–PvdA party, the Netherlands

Ms. Elzbieta Bienkowska, former Deputy Prime Minister of Poland and European Commissioner


3rd Panel: EU Elections and the Risk of Right Wing Extreme and Populist Rise

Moderator: Omri Priess, CEO, Alliance4Europe, Board member of DemoCrisis

  • European Parliament VP MEP Jan-Christoph Otjen (Renew, Germany) – Recorded Message
  • Member of European Parliament, Karima Delli (Greens, France)
  • Dr. Barbara Brodzińska-Mirowska, Department of Communication, Media and Journalism, The Nicolaus Copernicus University, Toruń
  • Ms. Daniela Vancic, European Program Manager, Democracy International
  • Prof. Radoslaw Markowski, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities and Polish Academy of Sciences
14:45-15:00 Break 

4th Panel: The Link Between Democracy and Security, War and Peace

Moderator: Dr. Maya Sion-Tzidkiyahu, Director of Israel-Europe Relations Program, Mitvim Institute, Board member of DemoCrisis

  • Amb. Ryszard Schnepf, Former Ambassador of Poland to the US
  • Ms. Dominika Hadju, Policy Director, Centre for Democracy & Resilience, GLOBSEC (Slovakia) 
  • Mr. Nadav Eyal, journalist, commentator, Yediot Ahronot and Ynet 
  • Mr. Eran Etzion, Former Deputy Head of National Security Council (Israel)
  • Prof. Yaniv Roznai, Vice Dean at the Harry Radzyner Law School and Co-Director at the Rubinstein Center for Constitutional Challenges, Reichman University (Israel)
16:00-17:30 Tour to the Supreme court of Poland
Plac Krasińskich 2/4/6
Guided by Adv. Michał Wawrykiewicz,  Wolne Sądy (Free Courts Civic Initiative). Make sure to registration to the tour through the conference registration form above.