Tuesday (April 5th): Orbán wins big!

Name? Viktor Orban

Westphalian identity? Hungarian

Age? 58

Why is he in the news? Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz Party won the parliamentary elections in Hungary for a fourth consecutive term. His party won a majority of 135 out of 199 seats in parliament. Meanwhile the six-party opposition coalition, United for Hungary, only took 57 seats. 

Why do we care? Orbán’s win is concerning for the EU. Orbán has been knocking Brussel’s door over his rejection of liberal democratic values;  during his acceptance speech, Orbán took another swing at Brussels when he said “We won a victory so big that you can see it from the moon, and you can certainly see it from Brussels”. A larger majority, means more trouble for the Union as he will be emboldened by his domestic support. 

Why should you care? Unless you are pro EU and pro the European project there are very few reasons for you to care, therefore, you should care 1/10. 

Who else cares? Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the first to congratulate Viktor Orbán on his victory. Orbán has been a long-time ally of the Kremlin, and rather quiet about Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. What we see now, is that Orban has been able to thrive, despite his ties with Putin or precisely because of the autocratic Putin-like ways in which he has transformed Hungarian society during his 12 years in power. 

Any further comments? President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen responded to Orban’s victory by triggering a powerful new EU mechanism to cut funding to Hungary for eroding the bloc’s rule-of-law standards. It is clear that the EU waited for the election results to make this move, but it does not come as a surprise after Orbán’s government introduced a new constitution in 2010 and changed the electoral system to the Fidesz’s advantage. Since then, Orban extended his influence into the judiciary, placing his loyalists in prominent positions.


The shared Account of RAIA members and Alumni