When facing illiberal regimes, a stream of victories by populists and a seemingly unstoppable retreat of liberal democracy, should we also simply adept to the new reality and “make our peace”? I would argue that this is the strategy many people have been pursuing in Hungary.
Viktor Orbán’s right-wing populist Fidesz party won a third consecutive term in office with a two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliamentary election of April 2018. Orbán is known for building an “illiberal state”, which he officially announced in the summer of 2014.
Those who want to stop populists need to learn how to plan strategically, set aside fantasies, and see the cold reality. They need to be proactive rather than reactive, preventively tackling the propaganda of the populists. Only when the strategic goals are achieved, should they feel good about themselves.
With the election of Donald Trump for president of the United States, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for a moment thought he found a kindred spirit. What went wrong and what needs to be done to improve the U.S.-Hungarian relations?
It is Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who is to defend the Law and Justice (PiS) government against the consequences of violations of the rule of law in Poland. These violations have led eventually to the reactions set out in the EU treaties. The Polish ruling party can blame only itself.
There was an intense uproar this April, when the press figured out that Meszaros became the fifth wealthiest Hungarian, as he gained more than roughly 325 million euros just in a year. For comparison, he had around 25 million euros – in 2014, when he appeared on the list of the richest Hungarians for the first time.
Since according to the constitution, the Hungarian president can be elected by a simple majority, it was clear that János Áder would triumph once more. The less predictable outcome was that the small, often disputing with one another parties of the left-wing liberal opposition lined up behind a credible, well-respected candidate: László Majtényi.
The 15th of March is a time of national celebration and pride in Hungary. In 1848 on this day, the Hungarian people rose up against Habsburg overlords and started a revolution to fight for liberties. This year, the country was divided between two main celebrations.
Orbán is interested only in cash, not in values. His disregard for values or (to make it sound more proudly) for ethos of Western democracy continues for years and is expressed in many constitutional reforms or a positive evaluation of the model of the political system of modern China. He therefore easily avoids the topic of Ukraine’s right to sovereignty, self-reliance in international politics and territorial integrity.
Republikon Institute used data available from Eurobarometer to construct three categories among voting-age population in Europe: eurosceptics, who are dissatisfied with Europe; “soft eurooptimists”, who, in general, are comfortable with the depth of European integration, and “federalists”, who would give more power to Brussels. The Institute then looked at the ratio of these categories in different countries – with a special focus on Central Eastern Europe.