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.
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.
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.
In the years 2019/20, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom reminded of the “peaceful freedom revolutions” (H.-D. Genscher), which took place 30 years ago and which were most symbolically manifested in the fall of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification, in the form of various events and publications. However, this revolutionary democratic change did not spread across the whole continent.
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.
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.
Free press and freedom of speech are among democracy’s essential prerequisites; however, they should not be taken for granted. Published by the Republikon Institute, with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, The State of the Media in the Visegrád Countries provides a detailed insight into the media status in Central Europe.
With the first shipments of vaccines being distributed at the time of writing this article, the question rises: Is it time for the Hungarian workforce to return to the office? Or, perhaps, the days of the traditional workplace are over.
Certain Western European politicians think that in Hungary and Poland the rule of law has been damaged to a degree that is not compatible with the values of the EU. Meanwhile, the politicians of the criticized countries argue that the rule of law can differ between countries and is hard to define.