Politics

Ágnes Bátory (left) and Sara Svensson

The use and abuse of participatory governance by populist governments

Ágnes Bátory and Sara Svensson both from the Central European University Budapest co-authored a remarkable paper about public consultations. They analyzed Viktor Orbán’s national consultations in Hungary, these are probably the most wide-scale consultative exercises in contemporary Europe. Some of our readers might not know that the Orbán government repeatedly sent questionnaires to every household in the country in some […]

by · June 24, 2019 · Politics
Mr. Levente Magyar (middle) with a member of the Vitézi Rend at the podium of the HungaroFest in Toronto.

Orbán government politician is lobbying against Trudeau in Toronto

According its official description HungaroFest, a two-day festival recently held in Toronto, was meant “to recognize and celebrate the history, existence and integration of the Hungarian people within Canada.” The festival included Hungarian music, folklore and dance. Local artists were invited along with performers from Hungary such as Republic, Budapest Bár and Tom White & the Mad Circus. The festival […]

by · June 12, 2019 · Politics
Sándor Kerekes’ exchange with Lord Peter Lilley on the deception of Brexit

Sándor Kerekes’ exchange with Lord Peter Lilley on the deception of Brexit

In January this year Lord Peter Lilley, member of the Upper House, came to Budapest to the invitation of the Danube Institute to give a lecture about the Brexit and its prospects. (The video of the lecture can be seen here.) It was early days to form any judgement about it, but there were questions abound already. His presentation was […]

by · June 4, 2019 · Politics
Klára Dobrev (left) and Ferenc Gyurcsány (right) cast their ballots on Sunday, with their family.

Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition becomes largest opposition party in Hungary

The Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and Jobbik both had their respective rendez-vous with destiny on Sunday night. At the same time, former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s Democratic Coalition (DK) and the fledgling Momentum party, both underestimated in opinion polls, caused much surprise by their strong showing in European Parliament elections in Hungary. The results were as follows, with turn-out at […]

by · May 27, 2019 · Politics
Amb. Cornstein (right) and Mr. Kövér – all smiles, no criticism.

US Embassy in Berlin chides László Kövér, Hungary’s homophobe Parliament Speaker

László Kövér is an Orbán loyalist and Hungary’s Parliament Speaker. The 59-year-old politician was born in the city of Pápa where he hails from a privileged Communist family. Mr. Kövér started out as a staunch Communist himself; he even worked for the Politburo. In 1987 as a young liberal leader he received a Soros-fellowship and was one of the founders […]

by · May 26, 2019 · Politics
Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi (left) and Rep. Kaptur at the award ceremony in 2017

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) is not supporting Orbán anymore

On January 24, 2017, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) was awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit by Hungary. The award was presented in Washington D.C. with great fanfare by Orbán loyalist Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi and Kaptur expressed her support for the Budapest government. Hungarian taxpayer’s money was not spared. The award ceremony was preceded by a piano concert […]

by · May 18, 2019 · Politics
Nemzeti Légió. Photo: MTI.

The National Legion — Far-right launches new paramilitary group in Hungary

The Mi Hazánk, or in English the Our Homeland far-right party announced the formation of a paramilitary group called the National Legion on 14 May 2019. This new group follows in the footsteps of the banned Magyar Gárda, once the paramilitary wing of the Jobbik party–back when it represented the hard right in Hungary. The Gárda, whose uniform closely resembled […]

by · May 15, 2019 · Politics
American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory

American concern about Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory

The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations is concerned about “Hungary’s downward democratic trajectory” and issued the following letter about Viktor Orbán’s upcoming visit to the White House. Four US Senators, among them ranking member Robert Menendez signed the letter. Not too long ago, in 2012 Senator Menendez actually praised Hungary’s democracy and politicians of the Orbán government, among […]

by · May 12, 2019 · Politics
Andrew Neil (left) interviews Ben Shapiro (right) on the BBC...and Mr. Shapiro walks out minutes after this exchange.

What Ben Shapiro’s frenzied reaction to a BBC interview tells us about political tribalism

Historians will credit Prime Minister Viktor Orbán with having been ahead of his time on the nature of political discourse and on the populist transformation of what was once called conservatism. Mr. Orbán has avoided all debates with his political opponents since 2006 and finessed the tribal approach to politics that was only adopted by others in North America and […]

by · May 11, 2019 · Politics
Europe is here. Poster from 1 May 2004.

Hungary snubbed on fifteenth anniversary of EU membership

It’s May Day in Hungary — a national holiday where major political parties hold picnics and rallies, Budapest’s Városliget (City Park) fills with families, games for children, barbecues and vendors, and the almost moribund Munkáspárt, the hard-line successor of the country’s pre-1989 Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party, shows signs of life by marching on Andrássy út and serving zsíróskenyér (bread with […]

by · May 1, 2019 · Politics