Politics, Nation and Identity in the Midst of Hungary’s Refugee Crisis

Originally Published by Policy Network 15 September 2015. Original linked here.

Hungarian political discourse has taken a dark turn as the refugee crisis has been enveloped with fear of a nation losing its identity. The current crisis that now dominates headlines has shown images of Syrian refugees quarantined within Hungarian train stations, protesting for the right to safely pursue new lives in Europe as asylum seekers. Yet even before the current crisis now affecting Hungary, despite being a country with a relatively low influx and outflux of migrants, the topic of immigration has become increasingly salient with strong political divides.

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Hungary has put economic interests above EU solidarity by siding with Russia over reverse gas flows to Ukraine

Originally Published by LSE Europp: 7 October 2014. Original linked here.

Russia and the EU have been engaged in a dispute over the legality of so called ‘reverse gas flows’, whereby Russian gas imports to EU countries are redirected back to Ukraine via Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. In September, however, Hungary opted to suspend these reverse gas flows, prompting criticism from some of its EU partners. The decision is symptomatic of wider problems in the EU’s relationship with Hungary: chiefly the country’s willingness to put economic interests above EU solidarity and the inability of the EU to force its own members to comply with joint-standards. Continue reading

Hungary’s One-way Ticket to the EU: Hungary and the Copenhagen Criteria

Co-Authored with Lise Esther Herman. Originally Published by Books and Ideas : 10 April 2014. Link to PDF of article HERE giving bibliographic references and footnotes.

Although its action tends to be perceived as undemocratic by fellow EU member states, Hungary’s right-wing conservative party Fidesz has just been confirmed in power by a large majority. Hungary has become a test case for the Copenhagen Criteria, according to which the stability of democratic institutions is a condition for EU accession, but not for continued EU membership.

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