The name Visegrad in Western European terminology has become synonymous with a lack of solidarity and nationalist politics. In Hungary, however, it also has implications for the future of democracy in Western Europe. How can the EU recover its appeal?
Hungary has become a laboratory of illiberal governance tailor-made to serve Fidesz’s goals. Its rhetoric is based on identity politics, conspiracy theories and enemy images. It has a massive Government-financed fake news industry. After this ellection a shift to a more moderate stance is not expected.
In April 2018 a general election will be held in Hungary. But liberal democracy in Hungary is undermined in such a way that the 2018 general election cannot be called either free or fair. Here are the reasons why.
How far does Budapest's influence extend? How has the "refugee crisis" affected regional cooperation? This study gives background information, facts and data on the last three years of the “refugee crisis”: its social, political, policy and diplomatic repercussions.
Hungary’s liaison with the Kremlin has turned the economic “Eastern Opening” into the construction of a full-blown illiberal democracy. This goes hand in hand with Russia’s growing leverage over Hungary with respect to economic as well as soft power.
Orbán tries to destroy Germany’s positive image in Central Eastern Europe, depicting Germany as the capital of the decadent, liberal, pro-immigration EU that is doomed to fail. Tolerating such a behaviour would be a huge long-term strategic mistake for Germany.
Viktor Orbán and his closest allies have taken control of most of the Hungarian media. Journalists at loyal outlets are expected to closely follow instructions from the state apparatus; in exchange, they receive advertising money from government institutions.
In Hungary, NGOs are now required to register as “civic organisations funded from abroad” if they receive financial support from a foreign source. The government is trying to delegitimise any organisation that criticises certain government policies, says Veronika Móra.
In April 2017, a series of demonstrations took place in Budapest against an amendment to the Higher Education Act. They were organised by mostly social media-based groups, but they differed in several aspects from the demonstration culture that has been the norm in Hungary in recent decades.
Two years ago, the Hungarian government began to criminalise asylum seekers and migrants with clear political motivations. Within a few months, their initial verbal aggression and hate campaign targeting refugees had developed into actual legislative amendments which violated refugees’ rights.