orbán viktor prime minister hungary poland memorial polish smolensk
Budapest, 2018. április 6. Orbán Viktor miniszterelnök beszédet mond a szmolenszki légikatasztrófa áldozatainak emlékére állított, Mementó Szmolenszkért elnevezésû emlékmû felavatásán Budafokon 2018. április 6-án. MTI Fotó: Máthé Zoltán

Based on Freedom House’s findings, online daily 444.hu reports that during the past ten years Hungary’s democracy rate worsened each year and considering the current situation, it will only deteriorate further. This phenomenon is unprecedented in the history of the Freedom House findings of the past 23 years.

MTI writes that the spread of illiberal policymaking that undermines democracy has become the norm in the post-Soviet region, Washington-based democracy watchdog Freedom House (FH) said in its annual report on Wednesday. Freedom House analyses and keeps a close watch on the rate of democracy in each country all over the world, publishing reports on a yearly basis.

The European Union and the United States are slowly running out of time for countering this tendency, FH said in its Nations in Transit report.

“What [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán famously hailed in 2014 as ‘illiberal democracy’ is essentially a return to the political practices of goulash communism, in which individual persecution may be relatively rare, but independent institutions are nonexistent and the party and the state are one,” analyst Nate Schenkkan stated in a summary attached to the report.

“The entrenchment of this system matters because it comes from within the EU and thrives on the bloc’s contradictions. Its leading proponent is a European prime minister, Orbán, whose Fidesz party remains in good standing in the largest political grouping in the European Parliament,” he said, warning that “if the trend continues, it will remake Europe in its own image”.

Nations in Transit publishes democracy scores each year for the countries reviewed. Hungary’s score has declined for 10 years.

This indicates that the country has gone from being the region’s leading democracy to a “half-established democracy on the brink of becoming a hybrid regime,”

Freedom House said. 444.hu highlights that the Polish government is on the wrong track as well, and in the case of Hungary, Poland and even Bulgaria the 7th clause can be invoked, which will strip these countries from their rights to vote in EU matters.

The report further digresses on the issue of distinguishing between such above described regimes and those countries where freedom and democracy are respected. The main difference between the two types of governments lies in the way they approach the civil sphere and independent press. It is openly stated that the EU has nothing so far on the illiberal-populist governments.

The report Nations in Transit, which has been published each year since 1995, reviews the status of democratic institutions in 29 states in the CEE region and Central Asia.

The report draws attention to the CEU case and laws regarding civils, highlighting that the Hungarian government presents the voters with a parallel reality with a campaign built on the “Soros plan”.

featured image: MTI

Source: 444.hu; MTI

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