While most EU member states are primarily concerned with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, the Hungarian and Polish governments’ are focusing on opposition to the EU’s plan to “promote gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
In recent months, the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE) became the new target of the Hungarian government’s culture war. The experiences of the institution’s response may change the nature of future demonstrations.
The pandemic can rule the agenda, but it cannot rule the ideology. This is the main lesson of the past few days in Hungary. The government has introduced restrictions and a crisis management plan, while PM Viktor Orbán has began writing the new chapter of the Hungarian ideological-cultural war in the meantime.
Viktor Orbán’s national conservative Fidesz party is famous for its method of relentlessly searching the ideal topic for their next populist campaign. They need topics that allow them to dominate public life in the long term, and can be used to generate intense anger.
Hungary is loth to leave its past behind, with radicals reemerging annually to celebrate the historic bloodshed of WW2. Athough the news was awash with the marching boots of neo-Nazis in Hungary, there is another story behind the black uniforms parading through the streets of Budapest.
Hungarian politics in 2020 will be different from 2019 in a number of ways. After years of paralysis and disarray of the Hungarian non-Fidesz opposition, they are back in the political game after a surprise non-defeat at the municipal elections in October 2019.
Family Protection Action Plan, which bears all the hallmarks of an authoritarian staple, is dehumanizing, pits demographic groups against each other and distorts the markets. It also creates a distraction for the citizens and puts the opposition in a corner where their only option is a bidding war.
Hungary held its municipal elections on October 13, 2019. Although the opposition and the regnant Fidesz party applied starkly different communication strategies, one topic featured in both campaigns: antisemitism.
It is crucial to understand the quality and evolution of Hungarian-American relations under the Orbán governments, which have been in office since 2010, as well as the main defining events in the relationship between the Hungarian and American governments.