Hungary: Black hole of European Union?

Anwar Hossain | Update:

Flag of Hungary. Photo: commons.wikimedia.orgNot so long ago, in 2012, the European Union won the Nobel Peace Prize "for over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe". Six years later, what we see? A well organized rise of nationalism, a dark cloud that covering the sky of Eastern Europe. Shadow of realist ideas spreading around and separating its soul, the liberal democratic values; from its own body, the European Union.

Yes, this time; it is the Hungary again! Record numbers of Hungarian voters casted their vote for its Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his national conservative and right-wing populist Fidesz party, which wins once again with a majority in the parliament. Prime Minister Orban is going to form the government for the third consecutive term in Hungary. But what was the magic behind this super majority? Immigration, xenophobia about Islam! Orban won his fourth term overall on a platform that openly demonizes migrants to Europe.

The National Election Office data projected Fidesz as winning 134 seats, with the nationalist Jobbik party on 26 seats and the centre-left Socialists in third place with 20 lawmakers. While declaring victory Orban was leading the crowd in song - it is the anthem of the revolution from 1848. He finishes by saying: “Long-live Hungary, thank you for everything.” Far-right leaders from different countries of EU started congratulating him through their twitter account.

Orban and his party members have campaigned heavily on his unyielding anti-migration policies. He claimed that the opposition is collaborating with the United Nations, the European Union and wealthy philanthropist George Soros to turn Hungary into an “immigrant country,” threatening its security and Christian identity.

Fear of the Opposition is that another super-majority would allow the autocratic leader to more easily push through constitutional changes, continue his crackdown on civic groups that he claims work against Hungarian interests and further strengthen his grasp on the highly centralized state power structure.

It is Prime Minister Orban who has changes Hungarian constitution several times and introduced its new media law what directly goes against the liberal democratic values of European Union. And now the opposition fears that this time he will hit the judiciary of the Hungarian democratic system.

A weakened European Union is a dream for Russia and experts believe this election result will make it happen and the Russian dream will come true. Europe will be weakened in context of Brexit and Catalonian independence movement. Not only that, -this election is another indicator that nationalist movements and right wing populist ideas are gaining strength in Eastern Europe. Other east European countries like Poland, Slovakia, and Check Republic, Hungary is opposing EU decision about immigration and other liberal values. This makes a sharp contrast with the European Union when its liberal democratic values disappear in Hungarian black hole.

Anwar Hossain
Institute of Media Studies
Stockholm University, Sweden

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