Sonderweg of the Eastern member states of the EU

TitleSonderweg of the Eastern member states of the EU
Publication TypeKonferencia kiadvány / Conference Paper
Év / Year2019
AuthorsZgut, Edit
Konferencia neve / Conference NameEuropean Elections 2019 - Renewing the Political Agenda for a United Europe
Kiadó / PublisherHungarian Europe Society

At the time of the democratic transition, the ultimate geopolitical goal of the V4 was to position their countries into the core of Euro-Atlantic alliance. They wanted to ensure that their integrity in times of turmoil is attached to the EU and to the transatlantic institutions. While the Visegrad countries are celebrating the 30th anniversary of the fall of communism this year, the most eminent students of the democratic transition are showcasing authoritarian traits. While the region is far from being homogeneous, one of the most significant systemic developments is democratic backsliding that captured a trend especially in Hungary and Poland, but there are harrowing signs in Slovakia and the Czech Republic as well.

According to the assessment of global democracy indexes[1] and comparative regional analysis’[2] the quality of democratic governance fell considerably in the poster boys of the transition. Moreover, political and civil rights have also been rolled back in a significant manner. In Hungary, Orbán has been successfully completing his competitive authoritarian regime by further restricting civil society and the otherwise divided and weak opposition. Also, another 2/3 majority of Fidesz resulted in an unprecedented centralisation of the media, and the establishment of a new administrative court system where the politically most sensitive issues are being adjusted separately. According to the latest evaluation of the Venice Commission has claimed, the new courts would concentrate “very extensive powers” in the hands of just a few stakeholders, and that there are “no effective checks and balances to counteract those powers”. Significant systemic changes also occurred in terms of academic freedom: after Central European University has been forced to leave Hungary, the government has turned towards the Hungarian Academy of Science by placing research under governmental funding and direct political control.




Related Events: 

European Elections 2019 - Renewing the Political Agenda for a United Europe

The Hungarian Europe Society held an international conference supported by the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit entitled "European Elections 2019 - Renewing the Political Agenda for a United Europe" on 12-13 April 2019 at the Ibis Styles Budapest Center (Rákóczi út 58, H-1074 Budapest).