Viktor Orban won for the third time the elections in Hungary, thus sealing a much feared shift towards ultra-conservative ideas and the rampant growth of far-right parties within European Member states.
His victory simply represents a stronger ideological “radicalism” which uses the refugee crisis as a pretext. Indeed, Orban’s election reflects an entire new reality on a European, and not just national, level.
The rhetoric of hate and the xenophobic references which he used on his pre-electoral campaign, but which he also used during his previous term in the cabinet, is the first thing to concern us. According to reliable demographic data, more than 55% of Orban voters consider the refugee-crisis’ topic to be of great national concern for Hungary. In addition to this, the same percentage of voters welcomes the Hungarian government’s effort to sabotage the implementation of the EU relocation program and to contribute to the blocking of the so called “Balkan Route” used by refugees, who seek entry to central Europe.
The Commission’s institutional provision for any burden sharing was unable to be brought in action for the period of 2015-2017 – in other words during the period in which migrant relocation programs were in effect but constantly challenged by Visegrád-States and Austria. This led to the entrapment of refugees in Greece and Italy.
The Council’s and the Commission warm welcome of Orban’s victory is the second fundamental topic of concern. Both Tusk and Junker were quick to congratulate Orban, seemingly forgetting the problems that his presidency had caused to the refugee-crisis problem, regarding Hungary’s capacity to fulfill its responsibilities vis-à-vis other member-states and the question of freedom of the press.
During the first half of 2017, the Commission had repeatedly stated that member states did not adhere to their end ?? of the relocation agreement and would expose themselves to sanctions – sanctions which, were never enforced. What is specifically interesting in Hungary is that 45% of Hungarians believe Orban’s policies– particularly where he contradicts Brussels- strengthen the country’s position within the European framework and that it is necessary for Hungarian leadership to insist on the prevalence of national interest at all costs. Orban’s campaign motto was “let us defend Hungary” which-judging from election results- seems to have pervaded a large part of Hungarian consciousness.
Fake news is the third fundamental matter of concern about the Orban case. While it does not concern only Hungary but Europe as a whole, the spread of fake news in the country was accompanied by the emergence of “ghost parties”, which after receiving sponsorships to which they were not entitled according to the electoral law, disappeared. The National Electoral Committee has yet to answer questions addressed by international organizations and other observers who deal specifically with this issue, creating general ambiguity about the electoral process as a whole (παλι δε βγαζει νόημα η πρόταση μετά το κόμμα).
The above matters beg for answers about the transparency and the trustworthiness, not only of the electoral process but also about the use of his power in Hungary. How can we set the boundaries between executive, legislative and judiciary power and what is the role of a European Union in which the rights of every member-state come hand-in-hand with certain obligations? In light of these developments, the Commission’s and Council’s response to Orban’s electoral victory and to what political views he and his party represent raises serious questions.