Edit Zgut is a Hungarian political scientist and a journalist, based in Warsaw. She is a guest lecturer at the University of Warsaw, Centre for Europe where she is teaching V4 cooperation within the European Union.
She is a researcher at the European Studies Unit and a PhD student at GSSR in the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her main field of research is democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland and the constraining role of the EU. She is a Rethink CEE fellow at the German Marshall Fund and a DemocraCE fellow at Visegrad Insight magazine. Edit previously worked at Political Capital research and Consultancy Institute in Budapest as a foreign policy analyst. She has been also teaching International Relations at Pázmány Péter Catholic University in Hungary. Prior to joining Political Capital, she was working as a foreign policy journalist at various media outlets in Hungary. She is a political commentator frequently appearing both in the Hungarian and international media. She earned her M.A. in political science from the ELTE and learned journalism at Bálint György Journalism Academy in Hungary.
The role and strength of cities in the 21st century not only relates to economic opportunity and prosperity but, increasingly, these issues are an expression of democratic values. The attitudes and voting preferences of those living in modern cities prove the trend. According GLOBSEC research, people in the capitals of Czechia, Hungary, and Slovakia prefer liberal democracy to autocracy more than in other regions. In December 2019, the V4 Mayors, all elected as advocates for progressive politics and liberal democracy principles, formed a progressive value-based Pact of Free Cities. Among other goals, this alliance argues for more direct funding for cities to increase efficiency and progress in climate action and innovation, policy areas that often remain stuck amid debates within national governments. What are the goals and objectives of the Free Cities Pact, and how will they be accomplished? Can they pave the way for more robust national policies? Will the ‘value gap’ between urban and rural areas continue to persist? How can mayors capitalize on support from citizens for climate action and environmental protection?