Hungarian Conservative

It’s One Thing to Loathe Orbán, It’s Quite Another to Actively Work Against Hungarian Interests

Katalin Cseh and Anna Donáth of Momentum rejoice at their being elected to the EP in the European Parliament elections on 26 May 2019.
Katalin Cseh and Anna Donáth of Momentum rejoice at their being elected to the EP in the European Parliament elections on 26 May 2019.
Tibor Illyés/MTI
A brief review of the European policy of the Hungarian Government and of that of the domestic opposition.

The following is a translation of an article written by historian and editor Dániel Kacsoh, originally published on

Recently, I have often found myself in debates where, in the context of the events of the past weeks and months in Europe, politicians and political pundits from the liberal left once again made the ‘overwhelming argument’ against the government that by formulating a dissenting opinion regarding certain decisions,

Viktor Orbán is dragging his country out of the European community, in particular on issues related to Ukraine.

According to the almost unanimous opinion of the ‘other side’, and this is especially true of Momentum…and of course of the Democratic Coalition (DK), which has defiantly endorsed the idea of a United States of Europe, uncritically accepting what the EU institutions and/or the mainstream international press formulate about or expect from Hungary is a precondition for demonstrating our belonging to the West.

There is nothing new in this, but the recent period has once again brought this phenomenon to the surface.

We have already discussed before, and, of course, others have done so, too, how our belonging to the Western alliance system, our Europeanism, and its antecedents and historical framing, are both evident and fraught with grievances. In addition, the theory of connectivity has provided ammunition for setting the direction of governance and diplomacy.

However, sometimes there are very complicated conflicts that, although complex in nature, still can be simplified. And since foreign policy is the new domestic policy, it may be worthwhile to use the same method when determining it.

As a preliminary point, it is worth noting that the author of these lines does not believe that the government wants to leave the European Union, wants to replace the Western alliance with an Eastern conglomerate, or wants to leave NATO at any cost.

If you like, it is for Europe, not against Europe, that it makes its sometimes seemingly unforgiving criticisms. Is it speaking against its own club? Sometimes, but not, in my opinion, to disrupt it.

Of course, in the course of the aforementioned debates, I have found that this is far from being the case. However, it can still be true.

But let’s simplify it!

What is the government saying, proposing, and advocating with its apparent minority position in Europe?

In short: the EU should find itself, commit to growth and economic sovereignty, stop counting on the sovereignty of its Member States, and stop cutting itself off from the East of the world in terms of trade at the request of the US. As a matter of principle, it should not overcome the demographic crisis with immigrants, but by supporting traditional families and childbearing. Oh, and it should also say no to degenerate gender ideology.

However, a not insignificant element of the Hungarian position is that it is always aligned with Hungarian national interests.

At least, that is what it refers to and takes as its basis. In other words, everything that the government wants concerning Europe is also good for Hungary. And it insists on certain rights of self-organization to the utmost.

What does the opposition, or a good part of it to be precise, say? What is their offer in this area as a whole against the ruling power?

First and foremost: what the West and/or Brussels want is the norm. The consequences of deviating from this basic principle can be seen clearly in what the masters of critical voices on the opposition side, such as Péter Ungár or András Schiffer, who may be critical of the EU, receive.

Comrades, that is a no no!

The decisions of the European Commission and its fellow institutions, and thus of the somewhat out-of-control European Parliament, are quasi-irrevocable, unassailable, unimpeachable acts—at least this is the conclusion that can be drawn from the statements of, say, DK or Momentum on the subject. No, it is not true that only bad decisions are made in Brussels, but let’s not classify all of them uncritically as good!

And speaking about oversimplification: the election results and the polls also show that the majority of Hungarian society stands closer to the government’s stances than to that of the opposition. In fact, on immigration or the child protection law, the level of support is far larger than the size of the Fidesz camp.

Naturally, that is where comments like ‘Orbán just wants to comply with the will of the people and only governs on the basis of opinion polls’ are invariably made. Other times, of course, he is anti-democratic. Never mind. It is undeniable, by the way, that the domestic opposition may be sympathetic to the way Guy Verhofstadt, Daniel Freund, Vera Jourová, or the ‘texting champion’ Ursula von der Leyen, who is courting the European Parliament for her political survival, talk—it must be soothing for them to hear what the Eurocrats say there in Brussels. They can even feel a sense of belonging to the majority, which is a scarce commodity in their circles at home. However, based on the election results so far, this attitude does not pay off: alas, the EP does not vote on its own representatives—if it did, Momentum would certainly be in a better position in Hungary now.

And one more thing. When, lured with the promise of the possibility of opening a confectionery in Vienna and experiencing a sense of disappointment with the regime change, Hungarians voted in favour of EU accession, no one said that Hungary would from that point on agree with everything that happens within the Union. Just to give a few examples: back then, the state recognition of gender reassignment, or even gay marriage, was not a common European value, and support for mass immigration was not a condition for EU funding.

And we should also be allowed to question whether it is a prudent decision to pretend that we want to admit Ukraine to the EU hoping for the best, or to send them 50 billion euros in a not entirely transparent scheme, even if we are not otherwise anti-Western. Not to mention the increasingly surreal, yet almost obligatory, fervour that Ukraine could still somehow defeat Russia!

And it should be a common minimum, at least as far as Hungarian parties are concerned, that they do not vote for a decision that excludes Hungarian students from the Erasmus+ programme and Hungarian entrepreneurs and teachers from the resources to which we are entitled.

You can loathe Orbán, but to work against Hungarian interests is immoral and politically self-defeating.

It is as simple as that.

Click here to read the original article.