Academic freedom is the cornerstone of a thriving educational environment, providing researchers, teachers, and students with the independence to pursue knowledge and engage in intellectual discourse without fear of censorship or political interference. It nurtures an atmosphere that promotes the unfettered exchange of ideas, challenges existing beliefs, and encourages the pursuit of truth.
In December 2022, the Hungarian government launched its 12th national consultation, asking voters about their views on the Ukraine-Russia war and the European Union’s sanctions. The consultation, as usual was filled with manipulated questions, false dilemmas, and vague expressions, and was preceded by a strong, one-sided Eurosceptic and state-funded campaign.
The following article is an analysis of how the Orbán government transformed the form of conditional distribution in Hungary over the past 12 years. How did the support system for the poor become the support system of the middle and upper middle class and how did it exclude the most disadvantaged groups from almost all benefits?
The Mathias Corvinus Collegium (MCC) is a Hungarian organization, which – according to its website – “is the leading talent promotion institution in the Carpathian Basin.” However, it is much more than that. Nowadays, the Mathias Corvinus Foundation offers an immense collection of educational programmes, publications, with a network of businesses and think tanks abroad, having a significant lobby power.
In early August 2022, Viktor Orbán flew to the United States to attend C-PAC. The main star of the event was Donald Trump, the former president, but Orbán was easily amongst the main attractions. Trump is not the only admirer of Orbán in America: his potentially greatest challenger for 2024, Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida is also a devotee.
During the second decade of the 21st century, liberalization of the media has been significant. By liberalization I don’t mean that liberal voices are more popular than ever, quite the opposite. In Hungary you don’t have to be a hired journalist anymore in order to spread your ideas and opinions on the internet. With the help of social media all you have to do is download the app, sign up and your journey as a political influencer can begin.
Since the launch of the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013 by the Chinese leader Xi Jinping and the Eastern Opening by the Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orbán, economic and diplomatic cooperation between China and Hungary has increased significantly. However, the lack of transparency and the politically infused nature of this cooperation makes Hungary’s relationship with the EU difficult.
The role of the media is more important in politics than it was 20-30 years ago. Political parties and politicians are using the media all around the world to promote themselves, their ideology, and their aims. These actions made media post objective, which means that almost every media outlet is close to a political party, which, of course, doesn’t mean that they’re making propaganda.
As far as power goes, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán cannot complain. His party, Fidesz recently won its 4th consecutive elections, with a supermajority no less.