Abstract: From the early 2010s the East Central European countries have developed the “third-generation autocracies”. They have introduced these autocracies through the “democracy capture” with a large deviation from the EU mainstream. Compared to the previous traditional types of autocracies the third-generation autocracy has produced radical innovations with the parallel developments of the formally democratic and informally autocratic forms in the institution-building. They have created a democratic façade of the formal-constitutional institutions and have also made big efforts for the drastic control of the informal institutions, in the media, culture and communication. This paper deals with the three stages of autocratization in the last thirty yearsin ECE, and itfocuses on the recent stagecfrom the early 2010s in its three shorter periods.