Friday (Nov. 20th): Orbán vs the EU: Rule of Law Edition

Viktor Orbán

Westphalian identity? Hungarian

Name? Viktor Orbán

Age? 57

Why is he in the news? Orbán has vetoed the 1,8 trillion Euro European budget for the next seven years as he thinks that the rule-of-law clause of the budget will be used as an ideological weapon to punish leaders like himself. Due to the principle of unanimity, all European States must agree to the budget for it to pass, giving Hungary and Poland the power of effectively blocking the EU budget. 

Why do we care? We have mentioned it before and we will mention it again, 1.8 trillion Euros is a lot of money for our European heart. Our American heart on the other hand really likes the rule of law to be followed and is used to budgets falling apart…*cough* Trump *cough* 

Why should you care? Orbán’s frenemies status with the EU can have critical implications for you if you are European. If you’re a wannabe European, you’ll have an interest in whether the EU will sell out democratic principles and become even more hypocritical or potentially even kick Hungary out of the EU. 

Who else cares? The PIS party from Poland (they have the same issue as Orbán). For years now they have been working on undermining the rule of law in their favour; e.g. the recent stricter abortion laws. However, Poland is more of a supporter in this case and needs Orbán to play the bad guy for them. On their own, the PIS party could not afford to speak up against the EU since they receive a considerable amount out of the EU budget. 

Any further comments? It seems Victor Orbán will not miss a chance to snub his European partners. Yesterday he welcomed the first delivery of the Russian Covid vaccine Sputnik 5, although it has not been approved for use in the European market yet. Another edition of Orbán vs the EU soon…

Joshua Dario Hasenstab

General Coordination Communications