According to The Washington Post, the European Union is assisting the autocracy of Viktor Orbán, who could not have created the current system in Hungary on his own.
As mandiner.hu writes, according to the US paper, the Hungarian prime minister could never have built his autocracy without “generous support from the E.U.”. US and European leaders alike are concerned that we are in the midst of a global struggle between democracy and authoritarianism. Yet, the EU is giving way to two of the world’s most rapidly autocratising countries, Hungary and Poland, The Washington Post wrote in its opinion piece.
“The E.U. won a Nobel Prize in 2012 in part for promoting ‘democracy and human rights in Europe’. So why is it that the E.U. is home to the two most rapidly autocratizing countries in the world, Poland and Hungary? And why is the E.U. funding this democratic backsliding?”
the paper poses this very important question.
According to the news site, both governments continue to receive billions of euros in subsidies from the EU, while expressing their contempt for the EU, and “dismantling democratic institutions”. As we can read in mandiner.hu’s article, Hungary is no longer a democracy, according to rating bodies such as the V-Dem Institute and Freedom House.
These organisations say that
Viktor Orbán has turned the country into an “electoral autocracy” or “hybrid regime”.
That is a country that maintains formal elements of democracy but tilts the playing field in favour of the ruling party. This was evident in the recent elections, so the regime does not meet the traditional minimum standards of democracy.
The paper writes that Viktor Orbán could never have built his autocracy without the generous support of the EU, which funds Fidesz’s support through a complex system of rural voters who profit from contracts with the government, exchanging public works, cash, and food for votes.
The Washington Post article also subtly compared Viktor Orbán to Vladimir Putin:
“[…] a New York Times investigation found that Orban’s government had distributed land to “his family members and close associates,” allowing them to benefit from E.U. farming subsidies. While Russian President Vladimir Putin’s oligarchs are enriched by oil and gas revenue, Orban’s oligarchs feed on E.U. funds.”
Source: mandiner.hu, Washington Post