The Center for Fundamental Rights (Alapjogokért Központ) is organising the second annual CPAC Hungary at the Bálna shopping and cultural centre in Budapest, Hungary. The grandiose showcase of conservative thinkers, statesmen, and legislators is set to take place 4–5 May. The inaugural edition of Hungary’s own Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) was held in May of last year.
As for the line-up, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary is giving one of the keynote addresses. PM Orbán is currently serving his fourth consecutive term in office, securing his latest mandate with yet another two-thirds supermajority. His momentous success greatly contributed to the perception held by many that
Budapest is the hub of conservative thought in Europe—CPAC being held here is just another testament to that.
Zoltán Koskovics, an analyst for the event-organising Center for Fundamental Rights, also referenced Orbán and the Fidesz party’s historic election win when he came on the Hungarian news channel Hír TV the other day to promote the event.
He first quipped that the success of the first CPAC ‘could be seen from the moon’, a reference to Orbán’s 2022 victory speech after the election,
and credited those results as a contributing factor to the event being well received. He added that conservative leaders around the world are now looking at Hungary as an example to follow; then, talking about CPAC Hungary’s agenda, went on to say:
‘Fundamentally, we expect the emphasis to be on issues that have mutual points of connection between the American right-wing, “the other America”, and Hungary. Kari Lake, for example, who, I can safely say, will be the star American speaker of CPAC Hungary, will definitely talk about the question of peace. It is important…that there is an America, there is a strong American conservative movement, that stands for peace and immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, just like Hungary does. They do so because they recognise the true interests of America, just like the Hungarian government recognises Hungary’s true interests.’
The aforementioned Kari Lake ran for Governor of Arizona last year, but narrowly lost to Democrat Katie Hobbs. She is now being considered a potential Vice Presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in next year’s election.
She is not the only high-profile figure from the US to be featured as a speaker at CPAC Hungary.
Former Fox News cable news anchor Tucker Carlson is also set to take the floor.
So is Kevin Roberts, the president of the Heritage Foundation; and Steve Bannon, former advisor to President Donald Trump and former executive chairman of the right-wing news site Breitbart.
There are prestigious guests coming from other countries as well. Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili is giving one of the opening speeches. Later,
former Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, and Eduardo Bolsonaro, the son of former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will also take the stage.
As for the Hungarian speakers, we can look forward to appearances by Minister of Justice Judit Varga and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó.
The History of CPAC
The very first Conservative Political Action Conference was held on 25 January 1974 in Washington D.C. The keynote speech was made by then-incumbent California governor Ronald Reagan.
Conservatives could not know it at the time, but they were in for quite an eventful decade. They first witnessed the first (and so far, only) US President to resign from office: Republican Richard Nixon was forced to do so in the wake of the Watergate scandal. That may have looked like a big blow to the Republican Party, which had just recently taken on conservatism as its main profile. However, ten years later, the first CPAC keynote speaker, Reagan delivered a historic landslide for conservatism. He won 49 out of the 50 states in the 1984 Presidential election, winning the popular vote by 18 percentage points.