In the Spring 2022, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is coming to Budapest and Hungary will be the first country in Europe to host the event. The conference, as one of the most important political events of the American Republican Party, gathers conservative thinkers, activists and politicians from all over the world and often includes prominent actors, like Republican US presidents.
‘The purpose of hosting one of the most important events of the American Republican Party is to build a bridge between American and Hungarian conservatives, who—despite being geographically separated by an ocean—are united by traditional values, love of country, respect for nation and defence of borders’ – said Miklós Szánthó, director of the Center for Fundamental Rights.[i] He has made the announcement about the conference due next year, as the future host of the upcoming event at a press conference, which was held with the participation of the executive director of the American Conservative Union (ACU), Dan Schneider.[ii]
The most important political event of American conservatives brings together like-minded activists, elected officials, influential leaders and organizations from all over the world. The largest and most important gathering of conservatives was first organized in 1974 as a flagship event of the ACU. Since then, numerous Republican presidents of the US have spoken at CPACs from Ronald Reagan to Donald Trump. Besides, prominent conservatives also graced the conference, including vice presidents, members of Congress and members of the judiciary. The event is currently scheduled to be attended by some of the world’s best-known and most respected conservative politicians, thinkers and influencers. Today, CPAC is clearly the biggest showcase of the overseas right.[iii]
Miklós Szánthó said that the conference is meant to be the symbol of the conservative renaissance and it aims to be a bridge between Hungarian and American conservatism
The conference scheduled for next spring will be a testament to the international cooperation of conservative forces and will show that the national forces can support each other at a higher level. The director of the Center for Fundamental Rights also referred—among other things— to the spread of gender ideology and cancel culture, which threaten the way of organizing people’s everyday lives. The relationship of the Center for Fundamental Rights and the ACU dates back to more than two years as evidenced by the fact that Miklós Szánthó and strategic director István Kovács were present at CPAC in Washington early last year.[iv]
ACU head Dan Schneider highlighted that CPACs were organized for the first time overseas six years ago. Since then, it has already been hosted in Asia, Australia, South and North America and next year the conference will be held for the first time in Europe. According to the executive director, Hungary and in particular Budapest, will be an excellent location because they are not only preserving the past but also trying new things. The ACU insisted on its position that it will only grant the right to organize a conference to a country that is committed to national sovereignty and the preservation of traditional values. He also emphasized that the Center for Fundamental Rights is an organization that has been committed to defending national indentity, sovereignty and Juedo-Christian social traditions since its inception. At the end of the press conference, an agreement has been signed by Miklós Szánthó and Dan Schneider, which will serve as the basic document for the upcoming event.[v]
The conference organizer, ACU, was founded in 1964 and claims to be ’the nation’s oldest conservative grassroots organization and seeks to preserve and protect the values of life, liberty, and property for every American.’ ACU has been hosting the Conservative Political Action Conference every year since 1974 with the aim of deepening and broadening knowledge and also equipping conservative thinkers with appropriate skills in order to become more effective in conducting their activities. ACU’s executive director Dan Schneider has held this position for nearly five years. He is also responsible for launching CPAC 365, which aims to replicate CPAC in dozens of states around the country and also around the world.[vi]
The last conference in Orlando, Florida was held in february 2021 . CPAC 2021 was headlined by former US President Donald Trump, and provided in-depth insights from conservative-minded politicians, influencers and leaders. Speakers included US representatives, former national security experts and advisors, radio and TV show hosts, founders and leaders of companies. As the CPAC 2022 is still being organized, the names of next year’s speakers are not public yet.[vii]
Virág Lőrincz, trainee at Danube Institute
[i] Alapjogokért Központ: ‘CPAC 2022 Magyarország – az Egyesült Államok legnagyobb konzervatív seregszemléje Budapestre érkezik’. 2021. 09.29., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMcN2IpZtHY&t=9s, accessed 4 October 2021.
[ii] FARKAS, György: ‘Konzervatív nagyágyúkat várnak Budapestre’. 2021. 09.29., https://24.hu/belfold/2020/02/29/konzervativ-nagyagyukat-varnak-budapestre/, accessed 4 October 2021.
[iii] MTI: ‘Budapest to host CPAC in 2022’ . 2021. 09.23., https://bbj.hu/politics/foreign-affairs/world/budapest-to-host-cpac-in-2022 , accessed 4 October 2021.
[iv] Alapjogokért Központ: ‘CPAC 2022 Magyarország – az Egyesült Államok legnagyobb konzervatív seregszemléje Budapestre érkezik’. 2021. 09.29., https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMcN2IpZtHY&t=9s, accessed 4 October 2021.
[v] SOMORJAI, Viktória: ‘Budapesten rendezik a legnagyobb amerikai konzervatív konferenciát’. 2021. 09.22., https://demokrata.hu/magyarorszag/budapesten-rendezik-a-legnagyobb-amerikai-konzervativ-konferenciat-428803, accessed 4 October 2021.