On May 16th 2022, European Values Centre for Security Policy publishes the report Orban’s Hungary: A Russia and China Proxy Weakening Europe. This report describes that today’s Hungary is adversarial to transatlantic interests and democratic values and purposefully undermines liberal democratic freedoms.
Under Orban’s leadership, Hungary has embraced the efforts of authoritarian Russia and China to broaden and deepen their politico-economic influence throughout Central Europe. This way, Hungary has become the primary staging ground for Russian and Chinese intelligence and influence operations targeting countries in the wider region.
Because of its status as an ally of authoritarians and because of Orban’s revisionist agenda, Hungary is an active threat to the stability and safety of Central and Southern Europe. Despite a number of dangerous steps Orban has taken, almost no relevant political or state institution in Central Europe has openly stood up to his vision. In comparison to the earlier English version of this report, this new Czech version now also includes a chapter on current developments in Hungary in relation to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Hungary and Russia allied against Ukraine as well. This alliance manifests among other things in these ways:
- Hungary announced it will not permit transport of weapons for Ukraine through its territory
- Viktor Orban vowed not to let Hungary engage in the war in Ukraine, he even based part of his political campaign on this promise
- In Hungary, media allied with Orban’s party Fidesz vehemently spread pro-Kremlin propagandist narratives targeted against the EU
- In his campaign, Viktor Orban actively promotes the Kremlin story about “something between Ukraine and Russia” that is not of European concern, he claims only he personally can guarantee “peace and stability” and that he will make sure Hungary does not become involved in a war that is not “ours”
- In his latest speech and in the announcement of victory in Hungarian parliamentary election, Viktor Orban called Volodymyr Zelenskyy an “adversary”
Moreover, efforts to map, uncover and face Orban’s authoritarian and antidemocratic agenda for Hungary and its region seem to have very little effect. Awareness of the situation is mainly raised by volunteers or minimally funded Hungarian democrats and their allies from both sides of the Atlantic. A key step for creating an efficient transatlantic liberal alliance against Orban and his party Fidesz would be to provide direct political, financial and technological support to democratic civil society in Hungary and its surroundings.