About: illiberal democracy

Future EU 01-04-2020

Sassoli shows his differences with von der Leyen over Hungary

European Parliament President David Sassoli has asked the European Commission to assess whether the new laws introduced in Hungary under the disguise of coronavirus emergency comply with the most important text of EU treaties, he said late on Tuesday (31 March).
Elections 31-03-2020

Von der Leyen warns against democratic backsliding without mentioning Hungary

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen warned on Tuesday (31 March) that coronavirus emergency measures by EU countries must be "limited", in a veiled reference to Hungary's nationalist leader Viktor Orbán, who used the pandemic to take on sweeping powers.
Elections 27-03-2020

Coronavirus to father EU’s ‘first dicatatorship’?

A "dictatorship" at the heart of the EU? A draft law to grant anti-coronavirus emergency measures set for adoption by Budapest has alarmed observers who fear it will hand Prime Minister Viktor Orbán unlimited power.

Hungary’s state of emergency law is a ‘blank cheque’ to Orban, critics say

A draft Hungarian law allowing the government to rule by decree during the state of emergency caused by the coronavirus pandemic risks staying in place indefinitely, the opposition has warned.

Hungary plans citizen survey against court compensations for Roma

Hungary’s right-wing government plans next month to survey its citizens to determine whether the courts should stop financially compensating Roma for discrimination and prisoners for mistreatment. Critics say the government survey will pave the way for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán...

Top Hungarian lawyer accuses PM Orban of harming rule of law

Hungary's top defence lawyer accused Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Tuesday (21 January) of undermining the rule of law through his refusal to accept two court decisions that require payouts of state funds.

‘Soros orchestra’: The next chapter in Hungary’s Article 7 odyssey

The General Affairs Council held a thematic hearing on Tuesday (10 December) on the ongoing Article 7 procedure against Hungary, tackling the alleged breaches of judicial independence, academic freedom and freedom of expression, particularly media freedom.
Freedom of thought 04-12-2019

Press watchdogs call for EU to act over Hungary media curbs

Hungary has stifled its independent media and imposed a level of control over journalists that is unprecedented in an EU country, according to a joint report from six international press watchdogs that calls on EU leaders to take action.

MEPs shut out of Hungary Council hearing as rule of law situation worsens

MEPs are reeling after being shut out of a Council hearing under the Article 7 procedure against Hungary for systemic breaches to the rule of law, as the situation in the country further deteriorates.
Politics 21-11-2019

Tusk vows to fight populism, elected new EPP chief

Outgoing EU Council president Donald Tusk pledged Wednesday (20 November)  to fight political populism as he was elected leader of Europe's main conservative parties during their group meeting in Croatia.
Elections 14-10-2019

Hungary’s opposition wins Budapest election, makes gains in other cities

Hungary's opposition scored its biggest election victory in a decade on Sunday (13 October) when liberal challenger Gergely Karácsony ousted ruling-party incumbent Istvan Tarlos as mayor of Budapest and opposition parties made gains in other major cities as well.
Future EU 02-10-2019

Michael Ignatieff: Hungary will not be a single-party state forever

The democratic transition is not over in Central and Eastern Europe and we will continue our mission of training people and creating "free minds, people who think", Michael Ignatieff, a Canadian academic and president of the Central European University, told EURACTIV Slovakia.

After setback, Hungary offers its EU ambassador for Commissioner

Hungary has nominated its ambassador to the EU, Olivér Várhelyi, as its new candidate for the European Commission after the Parliament blocked the first candidate put forward by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on Monday (30 September).
Economy & Jobs 30-09-2019

Finnish PM says EU ready to tie funding to rule-of-law criteria

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne said on Sunday (29 September) that all EU countries looked ready to accept that EU funding should be made conditional on democratic principles, he told Finland's public broadcaster YLE.
Future EU 30-09-2019

Orbán asks ‘the other side of EU’ to take its ‘paid activists’ home

Hungary has no plans to leave the European Union, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said on Sunday (29 September), adding however that eastern and western members of the bloc must find a compromise over the bloc's future.
Elections 30-08-2019

Orban commiserates with ‘fellow combatant’ Salvini

Hungary's nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán commiserated Thursday (29 August) with Italy's outgoing far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, calling him a "fellow combatant" in the fight for the "preservation of European Christian heritage and against migration".

EU takes Hungary to court over ‘Stop Soros’ migrant law

The European Union on Thursday (25 July) took Hungary to the EU's highest court over controversial legislation against assisting migrants, known as the "Stop Soros" laws.
Elections 27-06-2019

Liberal wins Budapest primary to face Orban’s Fidesz in mayoral election

The first formal primary in Hungary's history, for Budapest's mayoral election, wrapped up on Wednesday (26 June) as the opposition joined forces to try to wrest political leadership in the capital from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party.
Elections 18-06-2019

Orban lost in the European wilderness

Despite securing a place among the very few European leaders with a landslide victory under their belt in the EU election, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán is not celebrating, write Balázs Jarábik and Dániel Bartha.
EU Elections 2019 23-05-2019

EU elections in Hungary: The Catch ‘19

Hungary is now caught in an anti-migration and xenophobic discourse as the society did not have the chance to learn or prepare enough, and now it seems almost impossible to change this situation, writes Marcell Lörincz.
Global Europe 14-05-2019

Meeting of the minds as Trump receives Orban

US President Donald Trump on Monday (13 May) praised Hungary’s hardline authoritarian Viktor Orbán as a leader respected throughout Europe who kept his country safe with his crackdown on immigration. “Viktor Orbán has done a tremendous job in so many...
Future EU 13-05-2019

Ignoring critics, Trump to welcome Hungary’s Orban to White House

US President Donald Trump on Monday (13 May) will host Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán -- an anti-immigration firebrand and one of his few European admirers -- at the White House, despite criticism of the visit at home.
EU Elections 2019 07-05-2019

EPP divorce looms after Orban rejects Weber as Spitzenkandidat

The leader of Germany's conservatives said she expected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party would quit Europe's main centre-right group after he withdrew support for the bloc's candidate to head the European Commission.
EU Elections 2019 02-05-2019

EU country briefing: Hungary

Hungary became part of the EU during the 2004 “big bang” enlargement. The country is also part of the Visegrád Group, a cultural and political alliance, together with fellow EU states Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Want to know what's going on in the EU Capitals daily? Subscribe now to our new 9am newsletter.