Viktor Orban shows his style as European president

Viktor Orban shows his style as European president

“Make Europe great again”. Although he denies it, Viktor Orban has chosen as his slogan for the Hungarian presidency a formula very similar to that used by Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign (Make America great again). Over the next six months, the Hungarian Prime Minister, with whom Marine Le Pen has shown her closeness, wants to put on the table of the Twenty-Seven the issues that are dear to him: fighting immigration, improving the competitiveness of businesses, addressing the enlargement of the European Union (EU), not to the east (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova), but to the Balkans and its Serbian neighbor. Viktor Orban likes symbols. According to the website cathoBruxelles, “A Mass for Europe” was to launch the rotating Hungarian presidency on July 1 in the grounds of the Saints-Michel-et-Gudule Cathedral, in the heart of the Belgian capital. Viktor Orban, who often calls on the “good Lord” in his speeches, thus thumbed his nose at the European Union, which according to him “rejects the Christian heritage, manages the replacement of the population by immigration and leads an LGBT offensive against European nations favorable to the family.”

Liberalism in the pillory

At the head of his country of 9 million inhabitants for fourteen years, the Hungarian leader intends to demonstrate that democracy can be “illiberal”. However, the two terms have been contradictory in the West since the 18th century. “It is not because a state is not liberal that it cannot be a democracy”, asserts Viktor Orban, denouncing “Western ideology”. The governance of the populist leader is marked by repeated attacks on the plurality of the press and a weakening of the independence of the judiciary. The reform of his country’s Constitutional Court thus considerably limits the latter’s power. For months, the EU has suspended the payment of European funds to Hungary for repeated violations of the rule of law. Viktor Orban is also known for his reluctance to support the Ukrainian war effort – he remains the only European leader to have congratulated Vladimir Putin after his re-election in March 2024. Will the Hungarian leader’s European contradictions resist his desire for a “normal presidency” of the EU?

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