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Once front-runners of democracy in the CEE region, Hungary and Poland have become the most prominent cases of democratic backsliding in the EU. The two countries are famous for their centuries-old friendship (…). While their governing parties and populist leaders are careful to strengthen their friendship, the divisive rhetoric of Fidesz-KDNP and Law and Justice (PiS) managed to excavate the gap among their own people.

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Human rights enforcement at the international and at the regional level is difficult, since it is mostly up to individual states to decide which rules they implement within their boundaries. Furthermore, coming up with rights that are universal in nature is a difficult task, therefore, legal documents tend to be rather general when dealing with this topic.

Globalization

Globalization is an integral part of everyday life. However, so called “hyper-globalization” challenges national interest in favour of deeper integration. Academics debate what values governments should prioritize and how they should interact with the international community. Countries can either sacrifice too much to find a place in the world economy or may focus wrongly on domestic public opinion alone.

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After a promising start the Hungarian political system could not turn into a liberal democracy. It is not a special occurrence, in some other “third wave countries” democratization slowed down or stopped as well. The democracy crisis has many reasons: fragmented political culture, economic problems, problematic challenges to fundamental rights.

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In recent years, the LGBTIQ community in Hungary has suffered a great deal of discrimination as a result of governmental policies. Until recently the peak of this discriminatory wave against the above-mentioned minority group could be considered to be the law passed in December 2020 that ensures that only married couples are allowed to adopt children, apart from well-based exceptions.

Bulat Silvia via Canva.com

On Tuesday, the 15th of June, the Hungarian parliament passed a new law to protect children from pedophilia. However, the law also bans LGBT+ related content in schools, advertisement and TV. While the opposition boycotted the vote, 157 yes-votes and one dissenting vote enabled the new legislation to enter into force under the leadership of Viktor Orbán’s government.

Hungary LGBT Demonstration

Viktor Orban’s new legislative package equates homosexuality with paedophilia. For next year’s elections, Orban’s government needed another bogeyman against which it could mobilize populistically. But sexual identity is protected in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. The European Commission must immediately initiate infringement proceedings against Hungary, demands Moritz Körner in an interview.