1. ECHO – Can our voice be heard if we speak up together?
First piece from our series on democratic values in Central Europe, especially V4 countries, is dedicated to whistleblowing. The difference between whistleblower and the snitch is invisible, yet essential. The whistleblower doesn’t protect his/her interest, but public interest. Many times against much stronger authority and by risking the consequences and loses (of job, career or status).
In our video one of the most well known whistlblowers from Slovakia, Zuzana Hlávková, is starring. But each of our countries have its own less or more known heroes.
2. Do not be afraid to ask questions, Mr ?ytajnik said…
Free access to information is a basic civic right, guaranteed by number of legal acts in democratic countries. We shall use it more, since we can…
The video-clip “Pan ?ytajnik” reminds us that the freedom of access is not only about being not afraid to ask questions, but also about being not scared to answer those and deliver the information. Although this applies to every aspect of our lives, in democratic countries it is the most basic and most valuable tool for dialogue between the citizens and the state structures.
Besides the European Convention on Human Rights, which guarantees the right to information, every each of Visegrad countries has its own registration regarding the obligations of authorities in disclosing the info and about the procedural rights of civil society, such as Access to Information Act (2001) in Poland or Act nr. 106/1999 On free access to information in the Czech Republic.
3. Our lives are actually filled with the conflicts of interest…
Only in case of public issues the conflict of personal and common interest becomes a threat to democracy…
First piece from our series on democratic values in Central Europe, especially V4 countries, is dedicated to conflict of interests. We might agree that our everyday troubles are based in clashes of demands, wishes and aims, and we would also agree that these belong to our personal sphere and can not be solved anywhere else than there.
Quite the opposite situation is a conflict of personal interest that brings a personal benefit to a public actor or prevents him from reducing his or her benefit. Those, who are appointed to take care of public issues shall not apply their own personal interest into their agenda. Yet often they do. Therefore there is a legislation on conflict of interest of public officials (deputies, municipality representatives, even policemen etc.) trying to define, avoid and publish the behaviour which would bring personal benefits to those of civil service.
In our video, we are introduced to an architect, Pavel, who thinks about his new ambitious project for public space in the city. But at the same time he thinks about impressing his young colleague Vera. We find him dreaming of his new big building in the centre (and about impressing Vera). We’ll see him sketching (both projects:) quite arrogantly, submitting his proposal to the commission of town-hall.
We shall leave up to him, how he resolves the conflict between friendship and romance, but we shall not leave up to him the solution of the other one. Watch to learn more.
4. Sporting? Yes! But what if you do not exactly want to play the field?
Corruption in sport is usually connected to forgery of results or cheating, in our mind. But there are other, more complex issues which influence the growth of young talents and sport activities in general.
Malpractice in distribution of public money throughout the state structure seems to be far and detached from our lives. But it has direct impact on our everyday lives, apparent in sport activities. Unfair distribution of public funds to sport grounds and devices can spread the disillusion to people, who had been eager to develop their skills and lives.
In our movie a young, talented soccer athlete is practicing on a dilapidated soccer field. We see that he yearns to be like his sport idols some day. One night he is watching the news and hears that substantial funding will be given to soccer in the region, which makes him thrilled. Later he goes to his run-down soccer field again, to train even harder. Then the things turn out in a bit unexpected way. Or actually expectable…?