Stop the European Union! Orbán government launches new “national consultation”

The Orbán government announced that it is turning to the people to help it “stop Brussels” on six different fronts. The ruling Fidesz party is launching another so-called “national consultation,” which is nothing more than a polemical and partisan campaign exercise, using taxpayers’ money, aimed at convincing Hungarians that they are at war with the West, the European Union, with George Soros, with liberals and with hordes of migrants. If Hungarians are at war with nefarious external forces, they will no longer pay attention to systemic government corruption or crumbling health care and education.

“We need the support of Hungarians, so that we can keep in domestic hands out taxation policy, as well as the regulation of wages and utility fees. Brussels wants to take away powers from member states in several areas, so in this we must stop Brussels,” declared Csaba Dömötör, parliamentary secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office. Additionally, the national consultation is also meant to continue the demonization of NGOs in Hungary, with Mr. Dömötör noting more transparency is needed when it comes to the foreign financing of civic groups and non-profit organizations. The HVG news site, in its short report on the announcement, offered the following snarky commentary: “Csaba Dömötör would not confirm whether he has ever had an original idea in his life.”

Csaba Dömötör / MTI.

Indeed, Hungarians have seen all of this before over the last seven years–Fidesz is simply reheating rhetoric and shadow boxing campaigns against amorphous adversaries: the “dark network” of Soros-funded NGOs, the Brussels boogeyman that encroaches on the nation, as well as migrants on the borders. The national consultation is looking to get Hungarians to rubber stamp the government’s rhetorical warfare in six areas, including the safeguarding of the state borders.

“By participating in the national consultation, we are protecting our national independence,” remarked Mr. Dömötör, and then added: “The government is asking for the assistance of the Hungarian people, so that we will be able to defend our borders and avoid the compulsory settlement of foreigners.”

Mr. Dömötör emphasized that Hungary is the target of “ever increasing attacks” due to its hardline immigration policy, and suggested that the EU is using the compulsory settlement of migrants and refugees in member states as a tool to deliberately weaken nation states.

The national consultation questionnaires are being mailed out this coming week and Hungarians have until May 20th to return them. Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the unabashedly pro-Fidesz Nézőpont Intézet found that the vast majority of Hungarians are still supportive of the country’s membership in the EU. Fully 73% of Hungarians support EU membership. That said, Nézőpont also asked respondents to give their opinion about “the achievement of the Brussels leadership of the Union,” and in this regard, 53% indicated that they were dissatisfied.

Fidesz has no intention of pulling Hungary out of the EU. Not only do they need EU transfers to keep the economy afloat, but they need a good, foreign punching bag to fire up their supporters and create the impression that the nation’s leadership is at war.


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