Briefing: Hungary under Viktor Orbán
5 January 2012
What is happening in Budapest? Since his return to power in 2010, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who was a moderate and liberal government leader in 1990s, seems to be intent on becoming a fully fledged autocrat. With the support of a two-thirds majority in parliament and the far-right movement Jobbik, he appears today more eager to ensure the hegemony of his Fidesz party than he is to defend the achievements of the post-communist state, and more inspired by a nationalist nostalgia for a Greater Hungary than by the values of the European Union, which his country joined in 2004.
With his growing control over legislative, judicial and economic powers, his measures to curb the media and his nationalist discourse, Viktor Orbán is a cause for concern, and some have called for sanctions, or even Hungary’s exclusion from the EU. In a bid to facilitate an understanding of the mechanisms of a political crisis that could become a long-term problem for Europe, these articles selected from the press in Hungary and other European countries retrace the development and examine the ideological basis of this "national revolution," and also explore possible responses.