Desperate to shore up his flagging popularity, Hungary
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is embracing the far right, writes Anton Shekhovtsov
, Visiting Fellow at the Legatum Institute (Democracy Lab
"Some commentators argue that Orbán “likes to dislike Brussels,” implying that his Euroskepticism is a means to gain leverage in negotiations with the EU. Yet the policies and practices of Orbán’s government cannot be dismissed merely as an expedient tactic. Democracy is indeed declining in Hungary as registered, in particular, by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Since Orbán’s party, Fidesz, returned to power in 2010, he has modified electoral laws to its benefit, taken control of the judiciary, appealed to ultranationalism as a source of political cohesion, and undermined media freedom. Together with Greece, Hungary has experienced the biggest decline in press freedom in Europe in the period between 2010 and 2014. If Orbán has indeed become a far-right leader, this would be an easy explanation for developments in Hungary, but the situation may be more nuanced."
Read It’s Getting Ugly in Hungary