Macron talked about the ‘leprosy of nationalism’, Orbán replied with a distinction between the pro- and anti-immigration camp. However, the question of national identity resonates across Europe. The binary division as presented by Macron and Orbán servers one purpose – to provoke the European population to finally make the European elections important.
A ‘progressivists entourage’ is already lined up behind Macron and Orbán has his entourage of ‘populist snipers’. There is an asymmetry between them – progressivists are usually in power, while snipers are just asserting themselves, and more often they are also in power like in Poland, Italy and Austria. Both sides have their own supporters. Merkel supports Macron and Kurz supports Orbán. Czech PM Andrej Babiš does it his own way and supports both sides.
The European Parliament’s resolution cannot hinder Hungary in any way. It is not possible to exclude it from the game if it does not want to exclude itself. There is no vote of consensus or number of votes in the European Council. So, Hungary and its allies can still criticize socialists and progressivists in the EU parliament and wait for the first successful EU elections.
We should also be concerned that Macron’s line is seriously considering reducing the “hard core” of Europe from which the former Eastern Europe would be eliminated. If the French president can persuade the German Chancellor, the idea of a two-speed Europe will return, as the French socialist president François Mitterrand once developed in the form of a wider European federation.