Hungary Slipping Away From Democracy

This 2nd of April, the NewStatesman, a blog on Europe, wrote a post entitled “Hungary is no longer a democracy”. This news was not followed up by other media, but it is undeniable that Hungary has been moving towards a problematic situation. In 2010, the Fidesz Christian Democratic People’s Party, a conservative right-wing party, won the elections and thus a two-thirds majority seats in the Parliament. Since then, controversy has not ceased, around the reforms Prime-Minister Viktor Orbán has been pushing for. Orbán was a hero of the 1989 revolution and is extremely popular. However, he and his government have been implementing numerous constitutional reforms since 2010, which are pushing the country farther from democracy: the media are highly regulated, the constitutional court has less power to review legislation, there is an escalating State centralization, while human rights, checks and balances and the rule of law are being threatened. Despite European Union’s calls for restraint, Hungary is slipping away from democracy, with little reaction from other Member States. Recently, Paul Krugman and the Hungary specialist Kim Lane Scheppele wrote “By now it should be clear that Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party recognize no limitations in their quest for power.”

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