28 August 2014

Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary

In his speech, delivered before an ethnic Hungarian audience at the 25th Bálványos Free Summer University and Youth Camp in  Băile Tușnad (Tusnádfürdő), Romania, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán proclaimed his intention to turn Hungary into a state that

will undertake the odium of expressing that in character it is not of liberal nature (…). We have abandoned liberal methods and principles of organizing society, as well as the liberal way to look at the world (…). Today, the stars of international analyses are Singapore, China, India, Turkey, Russia (…) and if we think back on what we did in the last four years, and what we are going to do in the following four years, then it really can be interpreted from this angle. We are (…) parting ways with Western European dogmas, making ourselves independent from them (…). If we look at civil organizations in Hungary,  (…) we have to deal with paid political activists here. (…) [T]hey would like to exercise influence (…) on Hungarian public life. It is vital, therefore, that if we would like to reorganize our nation-state instead of the liberal state, that we should make it clear, that these are not civilians (…) opposing us, but political activists attempting to promote foreign interests (…). This is about the ongoing reorganization of the Hungarian state. Contrary to the liberal state organization logic of the past twenty years, this is a state organization originating from national interests.[1]

With this statement, Orbán revealed that his ultimate objective is to build his state not on the liberal democratic principles of the European Union, of which Hungary has been a member state since 2004, but rather on national foundations, citing as role models authoritarian regimes like Putin’s Russia and dictatorial governments like China.

In the 2010 parliamentary elections Orbán’s party, Fidesz received more than 50 percent of the popular votes. and due to the disproportional election system with this two-thirds of the seats, which made it possible for them to enact a new Fundamental Law without the votes of the weak opposition parties. Since then, many critics of this new, hybrid regime have referred to the system as an illiberal democracy, as it falls between a full-fledged democracy and a dictatorship.[2] What happened in Hungary is certainly less than a total breakdown of liberal democracy, but also more than just a transformation of the way that liberal democracy is functioning. In this illiberal democracy the institutions of a constitutional state (Constitutional Court, ombudsman, judicial or media councils) still exist, but their power is strongly limited. Also, as in many illiberal democracies, fundamental rights are listed in the new constitution, but the institutional guarantees of these rights are endangered due to the lack of an independent judiciary and Constitutional Court.

One can argue that, in his speech, Orbán expressed his intentions frankly for the first time, but in fact, there had been clear indications about these transitions in his prior speeches. Well before the 2010 elections, Orbán envisioned in a September 2009 speech,

a real chance that politics in Hungary will no longer be defined by a dualist power space. Instead, a large governing party will emerge in the center of the political stage [that] will be able to formulate national policy, not through constant debates, but through a natural representation of interests.[3]

Moreover, immediately following the elections he characterized the results as a “revolution of the ballot boxes.” In 2013, responding to harsh criticism of the European Parliament regarding the new constitutional order, he admitted that his party did not aim to produce a liberal constitution:

In Europe the trend is for every constitution to be liberal, this is not one. Liberal constitutions are based on the freedom of the individual and subdue welfare and the interest of the community to this goal. When we created the constitution, we posed questions to the people. The first question was the following: what would you like; should the constitution regulate the rights of the individual and create other rules in accordance with this principle, or should it create a balance between the rights and duties of the individual? According to my recollection, more than 80 percent of the people responded by saying that they wanted to live in a world where freedom existed, but where welfare and the interest of the community could not be neglected and that these need to be balanced in the constitution. I received an order and mandate for this. For this reason, the Hungarian constitution is a constitution of balance, and not a side-leaning constitution, which is the fashion in Europe, as there are plenty of problems there.[4]

As in other illiberal democracies, a formally competitive election with competing parties was held in Hungary in April 2014. However, the disproportional election system, the introduction of the winner compensation, and gerrymandering favored the governing party to regain its two-thirds majority. As the report of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation report states,

The main governing party enjoyed an undue advantage because of restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage, and campaign activities that blurred the separation between political party and the State. The legal framework for these elections was amended substantially in recent years. While some changes were positive, a number of key amendments negatively affected the electoral process, including the removal of important checks and balances. A new constitution and a large number of cardinal laws, including electoral legislation, were adopted using procedures that circumvented the requirement for public consultation. This undermined support for and confidence in the reform process.[5]

We cannot argue that the outcome of this election was determined by questionable election rules alone, but the unfairness was enough for the government to secure the best possible result and attain a two-thirds majority of seats. In this respect the hybridity of Hungarian constitutionalism until now differed from the “managed democracy” of Putin’s Russia, where the results of parliamentary and presidential elections cannot be deemed as uncertain.

The upcoming October 2014 Budapest municipal elections, will be different because in order to guarantee their majority in the governing body of the capital would require more deceit of the election rules. Therefore, the Parliament adopted a new law on June 10 which eliminates separate city and district council elections in Budapest, and delegates elected district mayors to the city council. According to the original structure, besides the twenty-three district mayors, nine additional seats would have been distributed according to a compensation list. The new law abolishes the previous system whereby Budapest city council members were directly elected from party lists. Challenges to the new law submitted to the Constitutional Court by opposition party candidates claimed that the new system gives equal representation to fewer and more populated districts, thus favoring the governing Fidesz party. According to an 8:7 decision published by the Constitutional Court on July 16, Budapest district mayors’ election to the capital’s city council is in line with the Fundamental Law. All eight judges who were nominated and elected by Fidesz (without broader consensus) had voted in favor of the decision. Whereas the parliamentary election in April was characterized by the OSCE as free but not fair, the “election,” or rather the delegation of the Budapest City Council in October can no longer be considered as free. I am sure that if Orbán required additional tools to secure his party’s power in the future, he would not hesitate to use it. Therefore, this model reaches beyond illiberal democratic system; it approaches to an authoritarian regime.

The question regarding the future of Hungary is no longer whether democracy and liberalism should go hand in hand, as is the case in the Western world, including in the European Union. As with citizens in any other nation-state, Hungarians certainly have the right to oppose the development of a liberal political system, if they are willing to accept certain consequences such as parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies. However, this conclusion must be reached through a democratic process, unlike the constitution making that took place in 2011, when Hungary’s leaders neglected to consult the people on their opinions about the very nature of the constitution. Although the party was not authorized to amend the constitutional system, Fidesz was still reelected in a free (although unfair), parliamentary election. However, if the municipal or any other subsequent elections cease to be free due to manipulation by the governing party, there will no longer be an opportunity to ask the people whether they would rather live in an authoritarian system.

The lessons to be learned from the backsliding of liberal democracy, or democracy altogether in Hungary, are threefolds: 1) the very definition of democracy is changing and is not necessarily liberal; 2) the borders of democratic, authoritarian, or dictatorial regimes are blurred, and there are a lot of types of hybrid systems, such as the current Hungarian regime; 3) due to a new, nearly Cold-War situation in the world, with an aggressive Russia, attempting to collect allies even among member states of the European Union, political processes are not influenced exclusively by the liberal democratic West.

[1] For the full English translation of the speech, visit: http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/full-text-of-viktor-orbans-speech-at-baile-tusnad-tusnadfurdo-of-26-july-2014/. For foreign consumption the official English translation of the speech provided by the PM’s Office tried to avoid the term ‘illiberal’ realizing that Orbán had gone too far. See http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/news/the-era-of-the-work-based-state-is-approaching

[2] See e.g. Gábor Halmai, “The Rise and Fall of Hungarian Constitutionalism,” chapter 7 of the Transatlantic Academy report, The Democratic Disconnect: Citizenship and Accountability in the Transatlantic Community, Washington, D.C.: Transatlantic Academy, May 2013.

[3] See the leaked speech in Kötcse before Fidesz party leaders. The Hungarian text was first published: “Megőrizni a létezés magyar minőségét” [To Preserve the Hungarian Nature of Existance]. Source: Nagyítás – www.nagyitas.hu

[4]See A Tavares jelentés egy baloldali akció [The Tavares report is a leftist action], Interview with PM Viktor Orbán, 5 July 2013. Kossuth Rádió.

[5] http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/hungary/121098?download=true


SUGGESTED CITATION  Halmai, Gábor: Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary, VerfBlog, 2014/8/28, https://verfassungsblog.de/illiberal-democracy-beyond-hungary-2/.

4 Comments

  1. jóska Mo 1 Sep 2014 at 14:59 - Reply

    As a person socialized mostly in Austria and Germany, and re-immigrating to H. recently, I struggle to accept both the detoriation of democratic order of state and society (from its former level which was of course not equivalent to those in the happier half of Europe) and the unawareness and apathy – even within the Orbán-opposing, urban part of society (which I can claim to observe).
    Many seem not be interested enough in politics to fully grasp, what far-fledging changes are happening, but also culturally not inclined to do what they COULD DO – what would be normal to do in Germany, say – as an individual to shape politics around them (things like: speaking up in their local microculture, encouraging discussions, generally encourage or even join demonstrations and recognise them as a peaceful but visible vocalisation of will at times – most think that demonstrations are useless, if instant changes don’t follow).
    Democratic traditions are of course not internalised in a decade, but were we so foolish to hope that they would be in 25 years since Oct. 23, 1989?

    One important reason for apathy is the sad state of the existing opposition parties which do not really convince masses to consider them as an alternative. (I leave the near-faschist „Jobbik“ party aside, as formal cooperation with it seems still a taboo, and apathy does not apply to its voters).

    What seems not to be discussed in the article:
    The sad state of the political opposition is a major reason for Orbán’s still ongoig success, and preservation thereof is the ingenious strategic goal of Orbáns new election system!
    The new election law forces opposition parties to work together. I.e.: parties formed to offer an alternative to the Socialist Party which has lost credibility, are now trying to work together to with it – losing their own ethical standing. As (most would agree) exceptional political talent paired with perception of credibility is hard to find among the opposition, the present state of opposition affairs seems an endless operette of petty quarrels of those 3-4 opposition parties. Perfect for Orbán!

    Moreover, his party can still change the election law any time, should the strategic situation require it.
    [The new parliamentary election system (if not changed further) may enable political competition in a two-party culture in which two roughly equivalent forces are competing, as in the US or UK. However, Hungary had a multipartisan political culture and election law since 1989.]

    In my opinion, too, at this stage, many basic elements of European democratic culture are nearly lost, and they would be exceedingly difficult to regain from within the country against a very powerful political AND economical establishment.
    In my oponion, at certain least core elements of democracy, such as a more fair (or at least stable!) election system or a reasonable non-Fidesz-dependent media coverage (another long story) could and should be considerably strengthened from the outside !
    Pressuring Orbán to change minor (but still important!) elements of his election system, AND keep it stable,
    or a clever way co-financing mass-press independently of the prevalent political elite could be examples. (The details on press „freedom“ are again messy, at the moment RTL Hungary is still independent, but at the expense of its sudden tax-induced losses constantly being financed by its mother company. As sad it sounds, a revival of „radio free europe“ as run in the 80s was already discussed in the US).

    Otherwise I am afraid that this situation could freeze for a decade or more.

  2. […] system as an illiberal democracy, as it falls between a full-fledged democracy and a dictatorship.[2] What happened in Hungary is certainly less than a total breakdown of liberal democracy, but also […]

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  4. […] exercise of power by parliaments and governments respectively. Both are now leading examples of illiberal democracies in the […]

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28 August 2014

Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary

In his speech, delivered before an ethnic Hungarian audience at the 25th Bálványos Free Summer University and Youth Camp in  Băile Tușnad (Tusnádfürdő), Romania, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán proclaimed his intention to turn Hungary into a state that

will undertake the odium of expressing that in character it is not of liberal nature (…). We have abandoned liberal methods and principles of organizing society, as well as the liberal way to look at the world (…). Today, the stars of international analyses are Singapore, China, India, Turkey, Russia (…) and if we think back on what we did in the last four years, and what we are going to do in the following four years, then it really can be interpreted from this angle. We are (…) parting ways with Western European dogmas, making ourselves independent from them (…). If we look at civil organizations in Hungary,  (…) we have to deal with paid political activists here. (…) [T]hey would like to exercise influence (…) on Hungarian public life. It is vital, therefore, that if we would like to reorganize our nation-state instead of the liberal state, that we should make it clear, that these are not civilians (…) opposing us, but political activists attempting to promote foreign interests (…). This is about the ongoing reorganization of the Hungarian state. Contrary to the liberal state organization logic of the past twenty years, this is a state organization originating from national interests.[1]

With this statement, Orbán revealed that his ultimate objective is to build his state not on the liberal democratic principles of the European Union, of which Hungary has been a member state since 2004, but rather on national foundations, citing as role models authoritarian regimes like Putin’s Russia and dictatorial governments like China.

In the 2010 parliamentary elections Orbán’s party, Fidesz received more than 50 percent of the popular votes. and due to the disproportional election system with this two-thirds of the seats, which made it possible for them to enact a new Fundamental Law without the votes of the weak opposition parties. Since then, many critics of this new, hybrid regime have referred to the system as an illiberal democracy, as it falls between a full-fledged democracy and a dictatorship.[2] What happened in Hungary is certainly less than a total breakdown of liberal democracy, but also more than just a transformation of the way that liberal democracy is functioning. In this illiberal democracy the institutions of a constitutional state (Constitutional Court, ombudsman, judicial or media councils) still exist, but their power is strongly limited. Also, as in many illiberal democracies, fundamental rights are listed in the new constitution, but the institutional guarantees of these rights are endangered due to the lack of an independent judiciary and Constitutional Court.

One can argue that, in his speech, Orbán expressed his intentions frankly for the first time, but in fact, there had been clear indications about these transitions in his prior speeches. Well before the 2010 elections, Orbán envisioned in a September 2009 speech,

a real chance that politics in Hungary will no longer be defined by a dualist power space. Instead, a large governing party will emerge in the center of the political stage [that] will be able to formulate national policy, not through constant debates, but through a natural representation of interests.[3]

Moreover, immediately following the elections he characterized the results as a “revolution of the ballot boxes.” In 2013, responding to harsh criticism of the European Parliament regarding the new constitutional order, he admitted that his party did not aim to produce a liberal constitution:

In Europe the trend is for every constitution to be liberal, this is not one. Liberal constitutions are based on the freedom of the individual and subdue welfare and the interest of the community to this goal. When we created the constitution, we posed questions to the people. The first question was the following: what would you like; should the constitution regulate the rights of the individual and create other rules in accordance with this principle, or should it create a balance between the rights and duties of the individual? According to my recollection, more than 80 percent of the people responded by saying that they wanted to live in a world where freedom existed, but where welfare and the interest of the community could not be neglected and that these need to be balanced in the constitution. I received an order and mandate for this. For this reason, the Hungarian constitution is a constitution of balance, and not a side-leaning constitution, which is the fashion in Europe, as there are plenty of problems there.[4]

As in other illiberal democracies, a formally competitive election with competing parties was held in Hungary in April 2014. However, the disproportional election system, the introduction of the winner compensation, and gerrymandering favored the governing party to regain its two-thirds majority. As the report of the OSCE/ODIHR election observation report states,

The main governing party enjoyed an undue advantage because of restrictive campaign regulations, biased media coverage, and campaign activities that blurred the separation between political party and the State. The legal framework for these elections was amended substantially in recent years. While some changes were positive, a number of key amendments negatively affected the electoral process, including the removal of important checks and balances. A new constitution and a large number of cardinal laws, including electoral legislation, were adopted using procedures that circumvented the requirement for public consultation. This undermined support for and confidence in the reform process.[5]

We cannot argue that the outcome of this election was determined by questionable election rules alone, but the unfairness was enough for the government to secure the best possible result and attain a two-thirds majority of seats. In this respect the hybridity of Hungarian constitutionalism until now differed from the “managed democracy” of Putin’s Russia, where the results of parliamentary and presidential elections cannot be deemed as uncertain.

The upcoming October 2014 Budapest municipal elections, will be different because in order to guarantee their majority in the governing body of the capital would require more deceit of the election rules. Therefore, the Parliament adopted a new law on June 10 which eliminates separate city and district council elections in Budapest, and delegates elected district mayors to the city council. According to the original structure, besides the twenty-three district mayors, nine additional seats would have been distributed according to a compensation list. The new law abolishes the previous system whereby Budapest city council members were directly elected from party lists. Challenges to the new law submitted to the Constitutional Court by opposition party candidates claimed that the new system gives equal representation to fewer and more populated districts, thus favoring the governing Fidesz party. According to an 8:7 decision published by the Constitutional Court on July 16, Budapest district mayors’ election to the capital’s city council is in line with the Fundamental Law. All eight judges who were nominated and elected by Fidesz (without broader consensus) had voted in favor of the decision. Whereas the parliamentary election in April was characterized by the OSCE as free but not fair, the “election,” or rather the delegation of the Budapest City Council in October can no longer be considered as free. I am sure that if Orbán required additional tools to secure his party’s power in the future, he would not hesitate to use it. Therefore, this model reaches beyond illiberal democratic system; it approaches to an authoritarian regime.

The question regarding the future of Hungary is no longer whether democracy and liberalism should go hand in hand, as is the case in the Western world, including in the European Union. As with citizens in any other nation-state, Hungarians certainly have the right to oppose the development of a liberal political system, if they are willing to accept certain consequences such as parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies. However, this conclusion must be reached through a democratic process, unlike the constitution making that took place in 2011, when Hungary’s leaders neglected to consult the people on their opinions about the very nature of the constitution. Although the party was not authorized to amend the constitutional system, Fidesz was still reelected in a free (although unfair), parliamentary election. However, if the municipal or any other subsequent elections cease to be free due to manipulation by the governing party, there will no longer be an opportunity to ask the people whether they would rather live in an authoritarian system.

The lessons to be learned from the backsliding of liberal democracy, or democracy altogether in Hungary, are threefolds: 1) the very definition of democracy is changing and is not necessarily liberal; 2) the borders of democratic, authoritarian, or dictatorial regimes are blurred, and there are a lot of types of hybrid systems, such as the current Hungarian regime; 3) due to a new, nearly Cold-War situation in the world, with an aggressive Russia, attempting to collect allies even among member states of the European Union, political processes are not influenced exclusively by the liberal democratic West.

[1] For the full English translation of the speech, visit: http://budapestbeacon.com/public-policy/full-text-of-viktor-orbans-speech-at-baile-tusnad-tusnadfurdo-of-26-july-2014/. For foreign consumption the official English translation of the speech provided by the PM’s Office tried to avoid the term ‘illiberal’ realizing that Orbán had gone too far. See http://www.kormany.hu/en/the-prime-minister/news/the-era-of-the-work-based-state-is-approaching

[2] See e.g. Gábor Halmai, “The Rise and Fall of Hungarian Constitutionalism,” chapter 7 of the Transatlantic Academy report, The Democratic Disconnect: Citizenship and Accountability in the Transatlantic Community, Washington, D.C.: Transatlantic Academy, May 2013.

[3] See the leaked speech in Kötcse before Fidesz party leaders. The Hungarian text was first published: “Megőrizni a létezés magyar minőségét” [To Preserve the Hungarian Nature of Existance]. Source: Nagyítás – www.nagyitas.hu

[4]See A Tavares jelentés egy baloldali akció [The Tavares report is a leftist action], Interview with PM Viktor Orbán, 5 July 2013. Kossuth Rádió.

[5] http://www.osce.org/odihr/elections/hungary/121098?download=true


SUGGESTED CITATION  Halmai, Gábor: Illiberal Democracy and Beyond in Hungary, VerfBlog, 2014/8/28, https://verfassungsblog.de/illiberal-democracy-beyond-hungary-2/, DOI: 10.17176/20170420-192430.

9 Comments

  1. AX Do 28 Aug 2014 at 20:22 - Reply

    Ich freue mich sehr, dass mich das Verfassungsblog über das rechtspolitische Tagesgeschehen osteuropäischer Staaten informiert. Über sie wird anderswo kaum berichet. Gleichzeitig wünsche ich mir für diese Beiträge einen sachlicheren, ausgeglicheneren Ton und ein besonderes Augenmerk auf die Richtigkeit und Vollständigkeit der Informationen (die für einen deutschen Leser kaum nachzuprüfen sind). Im Gegensatz dazu schienen mir die Berichte zu Ungarn und Slowenien zuletzt mitunter parteinehmend und alarmistisch zu sein.

    An dem Artikel hier irritiert mich die verfremdete Zitierung der jüngsten Rede Orbáns. Die spätere Behauptung „citing as role models authoritarian regimes like Putin’s Russia and dictatorial governments like China“ wird etwa auf den Ausschnitt zu „stars of international analyses are Singapore, China, India, Turkey, Russia“ gestützt. Nicht zitiert wird aber der Satz zuvor mit „understanding systems“ und der Satz danach mit „this challenge“. Diese Auslassungen halte ich für sinnentstellend. Wie auch die weiteren Auslassungen die Äußerungen teils unzulässig generalisieren oder den Bezugspunkt verwischen. Zudem wird beispielsweise aus „We have to abandon“ (Original) ein „We have abandoned“ (Zitat).

  2. Holger Fr 29 Aug 2014 at 13:13 - Reply

    Danke an AX für die Klarstellungen zu der Rede; das ist in der Tat etwas sinnentstellend. Ich verstehe Orban in der Rede so, dass er die autoritären Staaten nicht als „role model“ ansieht, sondern eine Art „dritten Weg“ zwischen liberaler Demokratie und Autoritarismus anstrebt (was man natürlich auch kritisieren kann und m.E. sollte).

    Auch die Behauptung „However, this conclusion must be reached through a democratic process, unlike the constitution making that took place in 2011, when Hungary’s leaders neglected to consult the people on their opinions about the very nature of the constitution.“ widerspricht der im dritten Orban-Zitatblock erwähnten Volksbefragung zur Verfassung; Orban behauptet zumindest, sich bei Verfassungsfragen jeweils nach dem in der Befragung geäußerten Mehrheitswunsch gerichtet zu haben.

    (Do you prefer comments in English or German? I wouldn’t mind either.)

  3. josef Mo 1 Sep 2014 at 17:43 - Reply

    Ich empfinde, dass dieser Artikel überhaupt nicht „alarmistisch“ ist. Für jemanden, der in Deutschland sozialisiert worden ist und der politischen mainstream angehört, ist es m.E. unmöglich Orbán’s machtpolitische Schritte als teil der in Europa üblichen politischen Entwicklung anzusehen. Die blosse Aufzahlung der Schritte seit 2010, die im Westen Europas grösstenteils, bzw. in diesem Ausmaß unvortellbar waeren, würde bereits Stoff für ein sehr langes Kommentar geben. Ich kann auf Wunsch einige Links angeben, aber mir scheint, jeder dürfte die Geschichte inzwischen kennen (Vielleicht weil ich in Bp. lebe).
    Formal ist es sogar rechtskonform, dass vor *jeder* der drei Landesweiten wahlen seit der Regierungsübernahme 2010 die entsprechenden Wahlgesatze von grund auf neugeschrieben wurden, die kommenden Kommunalwahlen sind nur die letzten in dieser Reihe. (Ein wirklich unabhangiges VHG hatte auch manche der Regelungen wahrscheinlich blockiert). Aber in D. scheint mir so etwas für mich (jedenfalls auf Bundesebene) unvorstellbar. Auch scheint das deutsche VGH kein problem damit zu haben selbst bei zentralen Regierungsvorhaben seinem Auftrag als Kontrollorgan nachzukommen.

    Natürlich war die Gesellschaft, damit auch die Politik in Ungarn (und anderen Landern ahnlicher Entwicklungsstufe) in Sachen von Demokratie und „Open Society“ nicht auf dem Stand der deutschsprachigen Lander. Doch auch das bis 2010 existierende Niveau und Rechtssicherheit ist nunmehr ein ferner Traum, wenn komplette Wirtschaftszweige innerhalb Monaten in Staatsmonopol kommen, und rückwirkende Steuern eingeführt werden.
    Die Entschiedenheit, mit der selbst die formale Kontrolle der Macht von Orbán’s Fidesz durch vormals unabhangige Institutionen abgebaut und diese Vollmacht auch demonstriert wurde, ist atemberaubend für einen der im Westen sozialisiert worden ist. (unabhangigkeit der VGH, d. Justizwesens, d. Presse, etc.) Außerdem kommt dazu die mindestens so wichtige und auch mehr kulturspezifische informale Machtstruktur, die naturgemaß viel schweriger zu beschreiben, zu nachweisen, und damit zu diskutieren ist.

    Aber man sollte sich bewuss sein, dass die im Vgl. zum Westen weniger entwickelte politische Reife der Gesellschaft gekoppelt mit einer schwerer Krise ein ideales Spielfeld für einen solch genialen Populisten und Machtpolitiker wie Orbán darstellt – die Entscheidung, ja Verantwortung der Wahler sollte man keineswegs vergessen.
    Doch wenn den Wahlern die Möglichkeit genommen wird, diese Entscheidung zu revidieren, oder zu relativieren (Die Legitimitaet des erneuten parlamentarische 2/3 basierend auf 44% d. abgegebenen Stimmen dank des bis zuletzt gefeilten Wahlgesetzes ist durchaus in Frage zu stellen) sollte man vielleicht doch darüber nachdenken, etwas mehr zu tun als zuzuschauen. Leider scheint mir die Realpolitik einfach keine starke Interesse darin zu haben, sich in den internen Machtkampf innerhalb eines kleinen Mitgliedstaates einzumischen, aber auch das Wie ist unklar.

    Ich habe übrigens heute ein noch langatmigeres Kommentar auf Englisch hinterlassen, es scheint verschwunden, was ist passiert?

  4. Maximilian Steinbeis Di 2 Sep 2014 at 12:14 - Reply

    @ Josef: Alles gut, der englische Kommentar ist auf der englischsprachigen Seite, https://verfassungsblog.de/en/illiberal-democracy-beyond-hungary-2/

  5. josef Do 4 Sep 2014 at 19:12 - Reply

    Ein wenig OFF für ein juristisches Publikum: ein weiterer tragikomischer Schritt im Tanz um die Wirtschaftsmacht, der auch die Gepfolgenheiten der neuen Fidesz-Elite gut illustriert:
    Vor zwei Tagen schrieb ich: „..Rechtssicherheit ist nunmehr ein ferner Traum, wenn komplette Wirtschaftszweige innerhalb Monaten in Staatsmonopol kommen… “
    – noch ohne zu wissen, dass – nach Monopolisierung der Glückspielindustrie, des Tabackhandels, sowie der Schullehrbücher(!) – nun auch der Alkoholhandel zum Staatsmonopol wird (wohl mit Konzessionsvergabe an „geeignete“ Bewerber).

    Hier ein Bericht : „Gov’t to introduce state monopoly on alcohol sales“ auf der US-Amerikanischen Newssite: http://budapestbeacon.com/category/media-issues/
    Zitat:
    „The nationalization of tobacco shops was widely reported as having been a highly corrupt process that saw Fidesz councillors awarding party loyalists with franchises, often at the expense of long-established corner shop owners“. Aber Fakt ist: danach bekamen sie nochmal 44%.

    Danke für den Hinweis über das Englische Kommentar! Ich brauchte einige Zeit bis ich begriff, was die Sprachknöpfe für eine Wirkung haben…

  6. josef Do 4 Sep 2014 at 19:46 - Reply

    Es erscheint mir auch Sinnvoll, auf eine Analyse (und Wertung) der erwahnten kurzfristigen Wahlgesatzanderungen in Budapest durch
    die Hungarian Helsinki Committee hinzuweisen.
    http://helsinki.hu/en/unconstitutional-and-illegitimate-changes-in-the-system-of-municipal-representation-2
    ————————————————–

    Darüberhinaus erlaube ich mir vorzuschlagen, das hochaktuelle und auch Juristisch erfassbare Thema der politisch motivierten Behördenverfahren gegen die durch die Norway Grants unterstützten NGOs bzw. der mit deren Verteilung betrauten Ökotárs Stiftung zu thematisieren.
    Es ist mir als Laien namlich unverstandlich, wie ein – soweit ich weiß – juristischer Nonsens in einem EU-staat als Grundlage zu Verfahren dienen kann. Dass diese Verfahren politisch motiviert sind scheint zumindest die Norvegische Regierung zu glauben (und ich auch).

    http://budapestbeacon.com/politics/norway-grants-part-1-2/

    http://eeagrants.org/News/2014/Norwegian-minister-expresses-concern-over-civil-society-in-Hungary

    http://budapestbeacon.com/news-in-brief/fidesz-advisor-initiates-police-probe-into-norway-grant-ngo/

    (Ich habe jetzt keine akutellen deutschsprachigen Berichte gefunden)
    Ich möchte nun wissen, wo eigentlich die Grenzen sind, bevor EU-politiker, inklusive des/r Bundeskanzler/in, etwas tatsachlich tun (müssen), um Ungarische Bürger und organisationen vor ihrer Regierung zu schützen. Ist das eine hauptsachlich politische oder eine auch juristisch erfassbare Frage?

  7. josef Mo 8 Sep 2014 at 18:30 - Reply

    Eine kurze Erganzung zum letzen Kommentar:
    Heute Mittag ist eine Spezialeinheit der ung. Polizei (NNI) mit ca. zehn Polizisten bei der obengenannten NGO Ökotárs (http://okotars.hu/en ) sowie bei Demnet (http://demnet.hu/en) erschienen. Telephonieren wurde für Mitarbeitern untersagt, ein Anruf eines Reporters im Büro wurde jah unterbrochen.
    Eine spontane Demonstration fangt in diesen Minuten an.
    Mangels anderer Möglichkeiten gebe ich einen online-Bericht in der Landessprache an: http://index.hu/belfold/2014/09/08/keszenletisek_akcioznak_az_okotarsnal/

  8. josef Di 9 Sep 2014 at 19:09 - Reply

    Nachtrag: ein Bericht in Deutsch:
    http://derstandard.at/2000005368985/Ungarn-Razzia-bei-Kritikern
    Die Budapester Zeitung schreibt ausführlicher:
    http://www.budapester.hu/2014/09/08/einer-neuer-tiefpunkt/
    (In deutsche Medien erscheinen erst die ersten kurzberichte)

    Die norwegische Regierung protestiert – wiederholt – scharf.

    Eine tiefergehende Analyse der Motivation der Regierung auf Englisch (Freilich, dies ist die Sichtweise der dt. Grünen und der ungarischen Intellektuellen): http://www.boell.de/de/node/283111

    Eine Beschreibung der konkreten Schritte auf der Webseite der Norway Grants (Stand 24 Juli): https://norvegcivilalap.hu/en/node/8578

    Diese Ereignisse illustrieren nach Meinung der westgerichteten ungarischen Intellektuellen ausgezeichnet die Ausrichtung des „Illiberalen Staates“ den Orbán im Sommer angekündigt (oder: zugegeben) hat.

  9. josef Di 16 Sep 2014 at 18:48 - Reply

    Ein neuer Artikel vom konservativen NZZ, ein gut geschriebener dazu:
    http://www.nzz.ch/international/viktor-orban-braucht-einen-neuen-gegner-1.18381197
    Vielleicht wissen die NZZ Redakteure bereits, dass die ung. behörden seitdem auch die Projekte, welche aus Schweitzer Mitteln bezahlt wurden „unter die Lupe“ nehmen?

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Other posts about this region:
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Ungarn
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