Politico accuses Hungary’s Orbán of launching ‘ideological attack’ against the EU

By John Cody
5 Min Read

Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has launched an ideological attack on Brussels, according to Politico. The news outlet states that Orbán is looking for allies to reshape the European Union and turn the Hungarian presidency, which starts in July, to his advantage.

In the article “Viktor Orbán’s plan for Europe,” journalist Suzanne Lynch writes that the Hungarian prime minister is in no danger of losing power at home, so he has launched an ideological attack on Brussels in an attempt to influence European political culture. As a means of doing so, he is using the local office of the Matthias Corvinus College organization (MCC) and the European Conservative news outlet.

The article references Orbán’s recent speech, which was featured in a Remix News short, in which the Hungarian leader says that “we have no choice but to occupy Brussels.”

However, in order to accomplish this, Orbán, whose party has become “politically homeless” by leaving the European People’s Party (EPP) in 2021, is looking for allies, Politico writes, noting that Fidesz could join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR).

According to Politico, Orbán is most outspoken against migration, bureaucracy, the LGBTQ lobby and support for Ukraine, while he is the only EU leader to stand up for former U.S. President Donald Trump, congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin on his re-election, and call Chinese President Xi Jinping a friend of his country.

Orbán’s vision of Europe is best illustrated by the way he used the veto in the European Council, the author points out, citing the sanctions against Russia, the global tax agreement, and the issue of aid to Ukraine as examples.

The news outlet cites Orbán’s efforts to “influence” the direction of discourse and policy in the EU, such as through the nonprofit Batthyány Lajos Foundation, including funding for the English-language European Conservative. However, what Politico does not note is that Orbán is outspent by other Western governments in the magnitude of billions of euros when it comes to media and influence. For example, Germany’s Deutsche Welle alone receives hundreds of millions in funding. Brussels itself funnels billions into NGOs, media outlets, and influence operations aimed against Orbán and other right-leaning political parties.

The portal also acknowledges that polls suggest a right-wing surge in the June European Parliament elections, which will almost coincide with the start of the Hungarian presidency, which the prime minister will want to turn to his advantage. They note that migration and enlargement could be the main topics of Hungary’s six-month presidency, although on the latter, Hungary would focus only on the Western Balkans, as opposed to Ukraine.

Politico cites remarks from Orbán made last month, who is likely looking forward to the right enjoying more power in the coming months.

“I haven’t seen such a good opportunity for national, conservative, sovereigntist and Christian-based forces to become dominant in the European Union in a long time,” Orbán said.

Politico wrote in response that “Orbán’s statement was posted on his social media accounts accompanied by clips of him rubbing shoulders with right-wing European leaders like Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French far-right leader Marine Le Pen and Slovakia’s Prime Minister Robert Fico.”

The news outlet also finds it telling that the issue of climate protection is likely to be left out of the Hungarian presidency’s agenda.

“All indications are that he will relish his role, which — in addition to allowing him to put his stamp on EU policy — will provide him with a place on the global stage,” the article concludes.

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