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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Social Movements v Political Parties in Hungary

Originally Published by Policy Network 6 November 2014. Original linked here.

In Hungary, national, European and municipal elections this year have further solidified a unipolar party landscape, in which conservative party Fidesz has dominated. With the state of opposition parties in prolonged disrepair, liberal and leftwing voters continue to replace their electoral disillusionment with participation in protests and social movements. The most recent demonstrations taking place on 26 October and again on 28 October have seen an estimated 100,000 protest against Fidesz government initiatives.

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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 Election: Solidifying the Radical Right

Originally Published by Policy Network: 8 April 2014. Original linked here

Despite accusations of gerrymandering and campaign tampering, Fidesz won an overwhelming victory against the left-wing opposition, while one in five Hungarians voted for Jobbik, making it the strongest far-right party in the EU.

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Fidesz (Super)Majority? Right and Radical Right Parties Dominate Hungarian Elections

Originally Published in Visegrad Insight: 7 April 2014. Original linked here.

Yesterday, Hungarians went out to cast their vote for the seventh democratic national elections. Although over 96% of the votes have been counted, onlookers remain tense to see whether or not right wing conservative party, Fidesz, will be able to maintain its two-thirds majority in parliament. Continue reading

Fidesz have won a clear victory in Hungary’s elections, but their supermajority hangs in the balance

Originally Published in LSE Europp: 7 April 2014. Original linked here.

Hungary held parliamentary elections on Sunday. As Erin Marie Saltman writes, Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz party came out comfortably ahead in the vote and will maintain its majority in the next parliament. However with the votes still being counted, there is still some doubt over whether Fidesz will have the ‘supermajority’ required to alter the country’s constitution. Regardless of the final count, she argues that the elections mean Hungary will continue along a more centralised and nationalistic path, including a potential reorientation away from ‘Western powers’ and toward Russia.
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