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  • Michael N.

Victor Orban and His Shaky Relationship with the EU

Early Years and EU Membership

Viktor Orban has served twice as the Prime Minister of Hungary, first from 1998 to 2002 and then from 2010 to the present. In 2004, during a period when he was not in power, Hungary joined the European Union (EU). However, Hungary's EU membership has proven to be a dilemma for the Union, largely due to Orban's governance style.


Orban's Controversial Policies

Orban is often viewed as a dictatorial figure, especially following his crackdown on the press and judiciary in Hungary. His strong opposition to immigration has raised eyebrows; his speeches on the subject have been compared to those of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister. Additionally, Orban's stance against LGBTQ+ rights has made him a controversial figure within the EU.


Power Dynamics and EU Relations

Despite these controversies, being part of the EU has augmented Orban's power. He maintains close ties with the Kremlin and has obstructed sanctions against Russia, actions seen as beneficial to both Hungary and Russia. Recently, he blocked €50 billion intended for Ukraine, with Hungary being the only EU member state to oppose this move. In response to Hungary's reluctance to implement 27 judicial reforms aimed at bolstering democracy, the EU withheld €13 billion in funding last year.


Hungary's NATO Membership

The Orban government's actions become even more complex considering Hungary's membership in NATO, which was finalized in 1999 during Orban's first term as Prime Minister. This move seems contradictory for an ally of Putin, leading to speculations that Orban might be serving as an inside agent for Russia.


Resolving the issues surrounding Orban's governance seems challenging, especially as his loss of power does not appear imminent.


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