European Commission published its Rule of Law Report, which reported on the state of justice, corruption, media and other democratic institutions in EU countries. Michal Šimečka of the Renew Europe group called the report important but not sufficient.
2021 will be the year when the financial crackdown on opposition cities will gain momentum. No self-restraint can be expected in this regard.
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.
“[…] [T]hink but not make thoughts your aim”, to quote Kipling. Thinking is important, but if it is not followed by action, ideas will forever wander aimlessly in the cerebral labyrinth of neuron paths. Why then do we still have think tanks and not more do tanks?
The Hungarian parliament voted to end the state of emergency, which gave the government the power to decide by decree on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergency legislation adopted in March was heavily criticized because it did not have a clear end date.
The “Coronavirus Law” adopted by the Hungarian Parliament on March 30 did not only enable Prime Minister Viktor Orbán to govern by decree for an unlimited period of time, but also suspended elections and referendums. With the passing of the emergency law, the parliament had disempowered itself.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 epidemic has led to numerous legislative changes in countries around the world. However, some governments quickly recognized this as a unique opportunity for further concentration and consolidation of power.