Gergely Karácsony is a green, left-wing politician, co-chair and prime ministerial candidate of the Dialogue party. He was elected Mayor of Budapest in 2019 as the joint candidate of 5 opposition parties. Between 2014 and 2019 he was Mayor of Budapest’s 14th district. Prior to that, he served as an MP of the LMP (Politics Can Be Different) party between 2010 and 2013, and an independent MP between 2013 and 2014. Mr Karácsony is a sociologist and pollster by profession and also taught at the Corvinus University of Budapest for ten years. He is married and has two children. He enjoys listening to jazz, going for long bike rides and watching volleyball. He ran as a prime ministerial candidate for the coalition of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Dialogue party in 2018.
What has the pandemic shown us in terms of the capacities of cities in handling fast-changing and evolving crises? How did cities perform and how have their performances impacted the level of trust of people in their respective local institutions? What communication strategies are better suited for local governments and how do these foster trust in local institutions over national governments?
During the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments, municipalities, and cities were faced overnight with new challenges that had not occurred for several generations. While central governments had so far assumed the lion’s share of management responsibilities and governance, the pandemic highlighted central government shortfalls in dealing with local clusters of infections and a fast-evolving health crisis. In some places, this triggered a shift in population trust from central state authorities to local governments.