Europe

We want a more effective European Citizens’ Initiative

Press release by György Schöpflin

“The European Citizens’ Initiative is by far the most attractive way for citizens to send their ideas and aspirations for change to the European Commission and the EU as a whole. The new regulations will make this smoother and more effective, and it only remains for the Commission to administer the ECI in a constructive spirit”, said György Schöpflin MEP, author of the Report, after a reform of the European Citizens’ Initiative Regulation was adopted today by the Constitutional Affairs Committee.

The European Citizens’ Initiative is a way for citizens to shape Europe by inviting the…

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György Schöpflin June 21, 2018

Commemoration

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s speech at a conference held in memory of Helmut Kohl

16 June 2018, Budapest

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen, President Spengler, President Zoltán Balog,

I have agreed on a division of labour with Zoltán Balog: I will speak frankly and with no holds barred, while afterwards he will apologise to the audience for this.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For my part I shall keep to the agreement. Nowadays Europe’s vital signs show it to be in a state of feverish agitation. Many things are in motion at once: the warning signs of a trade war with the United States; armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia; a new form of politics in Italy on the…

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June 21, 2018

Editorial

Migration is neither a human right, nor a desirable process

Hungary remains at the negotiating table to pursue solutions for managing global migration at the international community’s level. But as Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said recently, the compact appears to put the interests of Africa before the security of our own citizens.

As the UN migration package unfolds, it’s increasingly becoming a clear threat to Europe, Minister Szijjártó said to journalists prior to his address last week to the intergovernmental negotiations body at UN headquarters.

“It would now be justified to rechristen the Global Compact for Migration to the African Compact, since its clear beneficiary is Africa and its clear victim…

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Editorial June 12, 2018

Europe

Key takeaways from the V4’s “Future of Europe” conference

The Visegrád Group conference titled “Future of Europe,” held last week in Budapest’s Castle Garden Bazaar, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offered an opportunity to take a closer look at the continent’s future from a distinctly Visegrád perspective. During the event, which took place as part of the Hungarian V4 presidency leading politicians, renowned professors and well-known public figures offered thoughtful and provocative insights on the political and cultural forces that will shape Europe’s future. Here’s a brief rundown.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, in his opening address, talked about the historical challenges facing Europe in the…

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Editorial June 5, 2018

Editorial

Migration is neither a human right, nor a desirable process

Hungary is staying at the negotiating table to pursue solutions for managing global migration at the international community’s level. But as Foreign Minister Szijjártó has said, the security of our own citizens must come first.

The zero draft of the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, an outline negotiated among Member States as a comprehensive approach to global migration, was published a few months ago (the compact on refugees had been made public earlier). The draft document, which refers to migration as a fundamental human right and calls upon Member States to reduce the criminalization of illegal…

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Editorial May 2, 2018

Editorial

‘Hungary is more democratic than France,’ says French party leader and former MP

Certain European opinion-leaders and media outlets, reacting to the news of the re-election April 8 of Viktor Orbán and the ruling parties, could barely conceal their disappointment, according to a former member of the French National Assembly. But in some respects, “Hungary is more democratic than France,” he writes, and Orbán’s victory should be celebrated.

French media outlets like CNews spoke of the “controversial” Viktor Orbán while the 24-hour news channel BFM reported on the victory of the “far right” in Hungary, writes Christian Vanneste. Huffington Post reported with grave concern that “The Results of the Elections in Hungary…

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Editorial April 19, 2018

Editorial

Frank Füredi: The demonization of Hungary is the real threat to democracy

Last week, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz-KDNP alliance won Hungary’s 2018 general elections by a landslide, securing another two-thirds supermajority in Hungary’s National Assembly. The 70 percent voter turnout, an increase of nearly eight points over the previous elections, gives the government one of the strongest mandates in Hungary’s entire democratic history.

In an article published on Spiked Online, sociologist Frank Füredi says that the real threat to Hungarian democracy is not the Fidesz government but the absence of a serious and responsible political opposition. Without one, Füredi argues, no government can genuinely work effectively.

“If you only listened to Western…

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Editorial April 18, 2018

Editorial

PM Benjamin Netanyahu sends congratulations, invitation to PM Viktor Orbán

Following Fidesz’s victory in the April 8 parliamentary elections, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated PM Viktor Orbán on his re-election and extended an invitation to visit Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated re-elected Hungarian leader Viktor Orbán for his sweeping victory that resulted in a two-thirds parliamentary majority. According to The Times of Israel, PM Netanyahu invited his Hungarian counterpart to visit Israel and thanked Prime Minister Orbán for “Hungary’s support for Israel in international forums.”

At the end of March, Hungary was one of four countries joining the Unites States voting in support of Israel and against UNHCR’s…

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Editorial April 18, 2018

Editorial

Hungarian elections: a near record high turnout delivers a third consecutive victory to Prime Minister Orbán

With nearly 99 percent of votes counted and voter turnout approaching 70 percent, the outcome of last Sunday’s general elections is clear. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s ruling Fidesz-KDNP alliance secured a third consecutive term, an achievement unparalleled in Hungary’s democratic history. 

“Hungary is a country of brave people who today have made it clear – not only for ourselves, but for the whole of Europe – that things cannot continue like this,” said PM Orbán commenting on preliminary results in a television interview on Sunday night.

The voters “have stood up for Hungary’s sovereignty,” the prime minister said later at a…

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Editorial April 13, 2018

Editorial

PM Orbán addresses crowd of unprecedented numbers: “Our biggest battle is about to begin”

“One hundred and seventy years ago was the day when the Hungarian word for freedom, szabadság, entered the world’s lexicon” – said PM Orbán in his March 15th address before a crowd estimated in the hundreds of thousands to commemorate the 170th anniversary of Hungary’s 1848 Revolution and War of Independence.

“Over the last 30 years we have fought many great battles,” the prime minister said, “but our biggest battle is about to begin.” PM Orbán said, alluding to the fact that on 8 April Hungarians will go to the polls and cast a ballot that will decide Hungary’s fate…

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Editorial April 3, 2018