The future of Visegrád in the shadow of illiberalism and the EU’s macropolitical environment
A study by Political Capital.
Visegrad– Democratic and foreign policy challenges
Joint conference of Political Capital and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Do we need the Euro? Should we belong to the core of Europe? – Conference
What is the role of Hungary in the changing European Union? Do we want the Euro in Hungary? These questions were discussed first by politicians and then by economic experts on a conference organised by Political Capital.
Does Russia interfere in Czech, Austrian and Hungarian elections?
Our analysis sums up the Kremlin’s meddling possibilities in the CEE region
The new relationship of politics and media - the case of Hungary
A study by Political Capital
Putin in Hungary: Strategic negotiations dressed up as sports diplomacy
Flash Report on Putin’s visit.
The Future of Europe - Comparing public and elite attitudes
Chatham House’s research paper The Future of Europe: Comparing Public and Elite Attitudes examines the crucial divergence in attitudes towards European integration between the general public and an 'elite' group of leaders from business, civil society, journalists and elected officials.
Potential for civic participation in the Visegrad 4 countries, 2017 & 2018
Cas Mudde: The era of big catch-all parties is over
He truly believes there is no other option to defeat Fidesz than for all other parties to work together, through strategic electoral behavior rather than through an electoral coalition. He also claims that as long as the EU leave criticism to words, Orbán is fine, but he wouldn’t survive sustained E
Fighting back: Liberal Democratic Responses to the Populist Challenge
CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Policy Solutions and Political Capital cooperated to organise a public debate on populism, which took place at CEU on June 8, 2017
The political effects of migration-related fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories - conference
A joint conference of Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Political Capital
The political effects of migration-related fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories - study
In this study, we analyse the public discourse about international migration. This is a globally relevant topic, the discussion of which is characterised by the use of fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories all over the world.
Thomas Melia: Democracy is in global recession
Viktor Orbán is following Vladimir Putin’s path by trying to dismantle the nascent democratc systems being built in their countries in the wake of the destruction caused by communism and he is trying to isolate Hungary from the community of free states - our interview with Thomas Melia, a former Dep
Recent Changes in Refugee-Related Policies in Hungary
An analysis on the recent changes in migration related policies
The activity of pro-Russian extremist groups in Central-Eastern Europe
The year-long regional research project commissioned by Political Capital, covering Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and Poland focuses mainly on the violent ramifications of Russia’s regional influence.
From Russia with Hate - The activity of pro-Russian extremist hate groups in Central-Eastern Europe
Political Capital’s conference
How vulnerable are the Visegrad four societies to subversive foreign influence?
Russia and Europe are facing a civilizational divorce
Our interview with Jānis Bērziņš, the director of the Center for Security and Strategic Research in Riga.
The state of civil society in the EU and Russia 2016
In 2016, on behalf of the EU-Russia Civil Society Forum Political Capital conducted a research on the state of civil society in Hungary. The report, which was prepared for the first time, covers four EU member states plus Russia.
Orbán continues to follow Putin’s path
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit on 2 February to Budapest indicates there is a strategic alliance between the two sides, which aims to strengthen „internal opposition” within the European Union trying to cancel sanctions against Russia and weaken European integration.
Populism and Russian influence in Europe
The joint study of the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute and Political Capital examined the driving forces behind European populism and Russian influence exerted on the main political forces.
Populism in Europe and Its Russian Love Affair
Populists are increasingly dominating politics in Europe. This paper provides an overview of the populist landscape in Europe, including its history, its ideological underpinnings on both the political left and right, and the factors that have contributed to its resurgence
Russian disinformation in Central and Eastern Europe
V4 countries are among the main targets of the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns. To demonstrate this, Political Capital, Globsec Policy Institute and the European Values Think Tank launched the bi-weekly Kremlin Watch, which brings the public's attention to Russian propaganda.
Far-right murder of Hungarian police officer: pro-Russian radicalization in the CEE
The recent murder of a Hungarian police officer by a far-right paramilitary leader in Hungary shed light on the continuing radicalization and destabilization of the region by Russia.
Russia and the European Far Left
While populist radical right parties in Europe and their connections to Russia are frequently discussed, much less attention is dedicated to the radical left side of the spectrum. This study tries to fill this gap by providing an overview of the political successes of radical left parties.
Demand for Right-Wing Extremism Index (DEREX)
Political Capital has regularly published its Demand for Right-Wing Extremist (DEREX) index, which is based on the European Social Survey's bi-yearly updated database.
7 statements about the referendum
The one and a half year-long political campaign, which has been the most expensive one ever in Hungary, was not enough for a valid referendum. The 40% voter turnout shows that the campaign considerably underperformed the governing party’s expectations, the representatives of which had been talking a
Public and governmental approaches towards TTIP in the V4 countries
The purpose of this study is to analyse the stance of civic and political actors in the Visegrád countries on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
The Weaponization of Culture: Kremlin’s traditional agenda and the export of values to Central Europe
Political Capital’s most recent study explores the topic of Russian soft power in Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Austria.
Dismantling direct democracy: Referenda in Hungary
With the anti-quota referendum, one of the gravest dangers of illiberal politics seems to be materialising: the leadership’s reaction is making the tools of direct democracy (besides those of representative democracy) meaningless
The Hungarian government’s refugee campaign in five points
Despite the fact that, based on the latest party preference survey, support for Fidesz has not increased since April, government politicians consider the government’s antiimmigrant campaign a re
Hungary: Migration trends and political dynamics
This report outlines migration trends and the political dynamics on this issue in Hungary
Central Europe’s Faceless Strangers: The rise of xenophobia in the region
The brief takes a closer look at xenophobic sentiment in Central Europe, discussing the reasons behind historically high levels, as well as its increase with the European refugee crisis.
Possibilities to counteract extremist discourse
Short English summary of a project jointly executed by Political Capital Institute, Action and Protection Foundation and media researcher Gábor Bernáth, and supported by the Norwegian NGO Fund. Within the framework of the project we examined what possibilities there are to encourage non-violent and
The special case of Hungary in the European refugee crisis
Our studies on the domestic aspects of the refugee crisis summarise and evaluate data on migration, analyse its political consequences, and offer a regional outlook on V4 countries.
What the V4 is not unified in: the relationship with Russia
The Prague summit of the leaders of the Visegrad countries on 15 February and the meeting of the European Council on the 18-19 put the coordinated stance of the V4-group into the spotlight again.
Focus on Hungary: Refugees, Asylum and Migration
Study on the Orbán Government’s rhetoric and policy measures with regard to refugee, asylum and migration issues
Egy illiberális vízió eddigi hatásai a magyar politikai berendezkedésre
Egy illiberális vízió eddigi hatásai a magyar politikai berendezkedésre – tanulmány a jelenlegi magyar politikai berendezkedésről és a gyakran kormányzati/kormányfői vízióként meghatározott „illiberá
The new Hungarian election system’s beneficiaries
The policy paper looks at deficiencies in the election system from the perspective of political interests and wishes to make review recommendations exclusively in cases where a basic election principle is violated or the potential for serious fraud is detected.
The Kremlin connections of the European far-right
Political Capital Institute has decided to launch a series of publications in order to analyze the pro-Russian standpoint and behavior of far-right actors in various member states more deeply. The first four elements of the series deal with Hungary, Slovakia, France and Greece.
Trust within Europe
This study summarizes the findings of Political Capital’s research on the nature and tendencies of political trust.
Report on Xenophobia and Radical Nationalism in Hungary, January-June 2015
Country report on xenophobia and radical nationalism in Hungary for the time period between January-June 2015. In the study, dr. Ildikó Barna, associate professor at Eötvös Lóránd University, and Political Capital’s analyst Bulcsú Hunyadi summarise the key events and developments related to radicali
Measuring Political Violence
This page presents the results of a two-years-long research project, which focused on the attitudes towards political violence in online and offline context.
Scaling the Wall
Hungary's Migration Debate - an article by Péter Krekó and Attila Juhász in Foreign Affairs
Governmental campaign against refugees and migrants in Hungary
As the Hungarian government is losing support while Jobbik is on the rise as its most important challenger, Viktor Orbán is trying to halt the popularity of the far-right party by putting...
Changing Enemies of the Western far-right: from Immigrants to Europe
The more successful populist, Euro-reject parties in the last few years have shifted their platform’s central pillar from anti-immigration in 2009’s EP election to anti-EU in 2014’s EP election.
Jobbik’s policy proposals realized by Fidesz: A summary in 10 points
In the last five years Fidesz implemented several measures that were originally part of Jobbik’s program. There are several fields where the rhetoric of Fidesz and Jobbik have converged.
Votes of the poor - public works and the perils of clean elections
Summary of the study by Átlátszó, K-Monitor, Political Capital and Transparency International Hungary
"I am Eurasian" - The Kremlin connections of the Hungarian far-right
Political Capital's study on Kremlin's connections to the Hungarian far-right.
Jobbik won its first individual constituency – reasons and consequences
On April 12, the far-right Jobbik candidate won a by-election in the individual constituency of Tapolca.
Fidesz’ defeat in Veszprém – causes and consequences
On February 22, in an electoral district in western Hungary, considered as a stronghold for the right, Zoltán Kész, an independent candidate beat his rival representing the ruling party by 9%.
Putin’s visit to Budapest: demonstration of power, attempts to break EU unity
While we cannot expect that Hungary will be breaking the EU consensus over sanctions alone in the future, Hungary can remain an important member in the club of sanctions-critical EU member states.
Chancellor Merkel’s visit in Budapest: The Great PR Hoax
From a diplomatic aspect, the joint press conference by the German chancellor and the Hungarian prime minister revealed some disagreements.
Jobbik extended its influence in the municipalities
Jobbik managed to hold on to the majority of its mayoral seats, 14 of its mayoral candidates won at the municipal election.
Five statements about the municipal elections
An analysis on the Hungarian municipal elections, held on October 12, 2014.
The challenge of conspiracy theories – how to enhance critical thinking against the critical thinkers?
Conspiracy theories are extremely helpful for leaders provoking violent conflicts. They simplify the world, victimise the ingroup, diabolise the enemy, and give justification for violence.
Seven statements about the nature of anti-Semitism in Hungary
In recent years there has been a rise in domestic and international public discourse regarding anti-Semitism in Central and Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary.
Fidesz overwrites the rules of the municipal elections
Fidesz rewrites the rules in the middle of the game and is ready to change the local election system to suit its own purposes.
Hungarian elections: Four more years for Fidesz, Jobbik gains strength
The Hungarian parliamentary election has left only one question open, whether the governing party can retain its two-thirds majority in Parliament or not.
Mutual benefits: Jobbik ‘s pro-Iranian policy
An analysis on the relationship between Jobbik and Iran.
The Russian connection
An analysis on the spread of pro-Russian policies on the European far right
New Pact for Europe - Strategic Options for Europe’s Future
A Political Capital és Budapesti Nyílt Társadalom Intézet Alapítvány a European Policy Center és a King Baudouin Foundation támogatásával meghívja Önt az Új Egyezményt Európának – Európa jövőjének stratégiai lehetőségei című konferenciára.
The winner takes it all
Fidesz has implemented the most significant changes in the electoral system since the transition. Below, we summarize the most important changes based on their impact on the electoral results.
Proliferation of Migration Transition - Selected New EU Member States
A study appeared in the publication of the European Liberal Forum
The Conspiratorial Mindset in an Age of Transition
Conspiracy Theories in France, Hungary and Slovakia – Survey Results
New opposition movements in Hungary
There has been a proliferation of ‘new’ opposition movements before and after the 2010 elections. They vary in size, ideology, form, structure and their relationship with party politics.
New Electoral System in the Home Stretch
An analysis of the effects of the new Hungarian electoral procedure law and the campaign finance law.
Demokratikus Deficitek az Európai Unióban
A Political Capital Institute és a Friedrich Ebert Alapítvány meghívja Önt a Demokratikus Deficitek az Európai Unióban című konferenciájára.
The empire of conspiracy: the axiomatic role of antisemitism in the ideology of the Hungarian extreme right
An article by Peter Kreko in the Searchlight Magazine
Integration of the Roma in Central and Southeastern Europe
Policy recommendations of the European Liberal Forum, in cooperation with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom and the Centre for Liberal Studies.
The Fourth Amendment of the Basic Law: analysis of the consequences
After a number of laws passed by Fidesz-KDNP enjoying a super-majority in Parliament were struck down by the Constitutional Court in the past year, the coalition passed a basic law amendment.
Era of "monetary unorthodoxy" Begins
With the appointment of the new governor all previously independent state agencies and institutions will be run by people with very close ties to Fidesz and a quasi dependence from the PM himself.
Fewer obstacles, more campaign
Analysis on the consequences of Constitutional Court’s decision.
Notes on the current phase of electoral reform in Hungary
With a two-thirds majority in parliament, Hungary’s governing party alliance, Fidesz-KDNP, has created a completely new electoral system.
Greens divided on political gamble
Analysis: The LMP’s decision and the ‘disillusioned right-wing’ voters
Silent no more - Gordon Bajnai’s experimental laboratory
During the 23 October 1956 commemoration both the governing parties and the opposition essentially launched their campaigns a year and a half ahead of the spring 2014 elections.
How to tackle the far right? Delusions and new Proposals
Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Budapest and Political Capital Institute organized a conference on strategies against right-wing extremism.
PC is a leading member of the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network
Political Capital has become a leading institution in the EU Radicalisation Awareness Network.
Job-saving action plan – double or nothing
With the new job-saving action plan the government placed a „double or nothing” bet.
Government continues to play for time
The government appears to preserve its delaying tactics with regard to negotiations over a credit line with international organizations.
Party funding and prior registration ahead of the elections
The Fidesz leadership is making further efforts to improve the election prospects of the party.
Talk of split premature; Jobbik absorbs rivalries
Jobbik county chairman of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén, MP Zsolt Endrésik, was removed from the post and then excluded from the party.
Halfway into the Hungarian electoral reform
Electoral law already passed, law on procedure is still uncertain - Political Capital Institute analyses the reform process of the Hungarian electoral system and its anticipated consequences.
The conspiracy worldview
Counterpoint, a London based research and advisory group's interview with Peter Kreko, director of Political Capital about contemporary conspiracy theories in Hungary.
Attitude radicals in Hungary – in international context
The threat of high level of attitude radicals is that a prejudicial, nationalist and anti-establishment public can push mainstream parties and political leaders toward a more radical position.
Not your typical angry young men
Jobbik Facebook fans young, educated, eurosceptic, pessimistic & prejudiced.
Populism in Europe: Hungary
Demos and the Political Capital Institute released the first ever study of the Jobbik party’s Facebook fans, based on over 2,000 survey responses.
The current state of the loan agreement and the options of the government
By now Viktor Orbán has manoeuvred himself into a corner where his options are limited to bad and even worse political choices.
Hungary: against the wall
The foundering of loan negotiations would definitely leave the Hungarian economy in a catastrophic state with potentially serious domestic political consequences.
IMF-deal: the stress-test of the Orbán-government
Moody’s downgrade of Hungary’s sovereign debt to ‘junk’ status is a clear sign that the government’s eccentric and “unorthodox” economic policy has proved unsuccessful.
MOL in Croatia – Lull before the storm
The Croatian government failed to put legal controls on the Hungarian Company’s business share, which means that it will leave the resolution of the problem to the incoming administration.
New election system: nothing is carved in stone
New election system: nothing is carved in stone
Radical right in SEE seeks political gains by attacking gay pride parades
In this study we analyze the position of the far right in respect to the gay rights movement with a special focus on Balkan countries aspiring to enter the European Union.
The political prospects of the radical right in Hungary
Following its mayoral election victory in Gyöngyöspata, Jobbik is guaranteed to make regular references to it and see its policy of generating ethnic tensions in small communities justified.
New election system in Hungary: under construction
At its July 9 meeting the Fidesz presidency discussed options for a new election system,although no decision has been reached on key issues.
Gyurcsány’s last grab for control
The infighting among the Socialists has little actual political substance but that does not mean little is at stake. What we are witnessing is a brute battle for power.
Mol-affair: Foreign policy coup with potentially risky consequences
On May 24, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán unexpectedly, although not without preliminaries, announced: the government acquired the 21.2% stake of Russia’s Surgutneftegaz in MOL for EUR 1.88 billion.
Government in pensions trap
Almost three million people receive a pension or pension-type allowance. Of those almost one and a half million are below retirement age and claim an allowance based on various legal categories.
Jobbik needs Jews to run the world
Psychological & political ‘benefit’ of conspiracy theories
Multiculturalism in the Cross-Hairs
The debate on the social integration of the Muslim minority totalling 5 to 8 per cent of the population has risen to the highest political level in the large receiving countries in Europe.
The Valence casino case: government’s gamble
Given the political back-story, it should come as no surprise that the Chief Public Prosecution Service has requested that parliament lift former prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsány’s immunity.
The second season of patrolling in Hungary
Background of recent events in Gyöngyöspata – an In-Depth analysis by Political Capital.
Squandered opportunity for consolidation
The constitutional set-up did not become socially consolidated following the 1989-90 change of regime.
Regime Consolidation: A Missed Opportunity
The new constitution in Hungary is not anti-democratic; however, it does harm to the conditions of Hungary’s medium- and long-term political stability.
Hungary sitting on a powder keg
The Hungarian government faces its toughest challenge with chilling ethnic tensions in the countryside.
The Spring of Our Discontent
The Hungarian government outlines an ambitious spending-cut package. The destination is clear, but the road is still under construction.
Orbán's Speech Marks the Start of the Government's Most Difficult Phase
International investors may feel slightly shortchanged by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's state of the nation speech to Parliament February 14.
Hard times for EU Presidency = hard times for EU
Hungary has prepared for the EU Presidency diligently and succeeded in putting its own topics on the agenda, such as the European Roma Strategy. No one had expected it to be a light run.
Hungarian legislation following the change in government
The 2011 spring legislative agenda foreshadows a more moderate pace. The government explains it by the heavy workload related to the rotating EU-presidency and the drafting of the new Constitution.
The Challenge of Hungary's European Union Presidency: Success or failure?
2011 is the year Central Europe took over Brussels. Hungary will be at the helm of EU's rotating presidency for the next six months, to be followed by Poland in the second half of the year.
Tricky 2011 ahead
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who steamrollered over virtually all obstacles to his rule in 2010, will spend the first part of 2011 navigating the pitfalls of power.
Anti-Semitism and Anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories
A Joint Conference by Political Capital Institute and Central European University.
Wine and Whine: The budding fruits of Hungary’s EU Presidency
As Hungary packs up its Bermuda shorts for a six-month stay at the Brussels beach, it might be fair to ask: What exactly do we expect to get out of this?
Eastern Europe’s Roma Predicament: Integration or Emigration
Eastern Europe’s Roma, also known as Gypsies, are desperate to break out of the grinding poverty in which many of them live - but they frequently see little hope of doing so in their home countries.
Fidesz phase two: unraveling Orbán's oxymoron
Now that voters have handed PM Viktor Orbán what amounts to a blank cheque to govern, he is ready to begin the second phase of his governance: cleaning up the budget mess and spurring economic growth
Far right veering off the rails
Jobbik infighting, identity crisis throw wet blanket on far-right surge
Half-success: Budget deficit aims 3%
Key Political Trends: Half-success: Budget deficit aims 3%; Restricting the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court; Ferenc Gyurcsány’s two-front battle against Fidesz and the MSZP leadership
Evaluating the 2011 Budget
Hungary’s draft budget for 2011 aims to keep the deficit at less than 3% of GDP, meeting the Maastricht criteria for euro adoption for the first time since 1995.
The bank tax in Europe and Hungary
While currently it appears to be a success story from an economic and political point alike, the introduction of the bank tax presents significant risks already in the medium term.
Constitutional Court Curtailed: Good news for fiscal balance, bad for democracy
Hungary’s governing Fidesz party initiated an unprecedented effort October 26 to strip the Constitutional Court – Hungary’s final authority on legislative questions – of a number of powers.
Budapest’s New Mayor May Expand Public Control over City Utilities
István Tarlós, the governing Fidesz party’s brand-new mayor of Budapest, announced plans for a swift and wide-ranging review of private companies’ ownership contracts in city utilities.
Legal legacy of the sludge catastrophe
Unexpected crises are moments that can make or break political leaders. They either flounder around for solutions or rise to the occasion.
The political consequences of the red sludge catastrophe in Hungary
On October 4, a waste reservoir at an aluminum plant burst its banks, unleashing some 700,000 cubic meters of red sludge. The government has responded to the crisis in the most popular way possible.
Hungary’s Local Elections: Fidesz Clobbers Opponents
Fidesz, which leads the strongest government since 1990, has reached all of its political goals by extending its power over most municipalities.
Anti-Immigrant Prejudice in Central and Eastern Europe
Political Capital's analysis on attitudes toward migrants in Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland.
Fidesz ready to leap final hurdle to hegemony
Barring a catastrophe on the scale of an extraterrestrial invasion, the governing Fidesz party will demolish all comers in the 3 October municipal elections.
Hungary Faces Increasing Pressure from Abroad
Fidesz’s changes to the election law have made it hard for politicians to run for Budapest mayor.
IMF Casts Doubt on Hungary’s Fiscal Strategy
Although Hungary currently has no urgent need for outside financing, the IMF loan served as a safety net should the country find itself in a tight spot.
Hungarian-Slovak Network to Reset Political Dialogue
Political analysts, researchers and members of civil organisations in Slovakia and Hungary have created an open network to stimulate dialogue on issues that affect the entire Visegrad region.
Fidesz & hubrisz
The biggest political calamities are sometimes the consequence of the most obvious political mistakes. This may be the case with the new Declaration of National Cooperation.
Economist: „A commendably thorough paper from Political Capital, a Budapest-based research outfit, highlights the mess the new government has inherited and the unrealistic nature of its promises"
Hungary Faces Mounting Risks of Corruption, Prejudice and Press Restrictions
Hungary’s 2010 Political Risk Index (PRI) score is 66 points – the first year the country’s political risk has declined since the index began in 2005.
Orbán’s New Action Plan Will Help Hungary Maintain Its Strong Fiscal Position
Concerns about whether Hungary’s new government will loosen budgetary discipline appear to have been laid to rest.
Hungarian Govt Plans Drastic Response to HUF Crisis
Political Capital expects the Hungarian government reacts to the crisis fast and will announce austerity measures to stabilize the budget and the exchange rate.
Dual citizenship poses risks only in Slovak and Hungarian relations
In respect to the stability of the region as a whole political risks will not increase significantly due to the preferential naturalization of ethnic Hungarians living outside state borders.
Personalties & policy
The day after Fidesz scooped up 68 per cent of the seats in Parliament, Prime Minister-designate Viktor Orbán took aim at Hungarian National Bank Governor András Simor.
Fidesz vs. Hungarian National Bank: A three-month skirmish or a three-year war?
Hungarian Prime Minister-in-waiting Viktor Orbán, whose Fidesz party won an unprecedented 68% of seats in Parliament, urgently wants to replace Hungarian central bank Governor András Simor.
Hungary will have its Strongest Government since the Transition
With 68% of the seats in Parliament, Hungarian Prime Minister-in-waiting Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party will be able to form the most stable government Hungary has had since the transitio
An economic house divided
Fidesz, the party that scored an unassailable majority Hungary’s parliament this month, may discover that it has pitched its tent too wide.
Fidesz is Very Close to a Two-Thirds Majority in Parliament
Results from the first round of Hungary’s general elections on April 11 have made it clear that Fidesz will have an absolute majority in the next Parliament.
Jobbik Scores Big in Hungary’s Parliamentary Election: Now what?
The ultra right-wing Jobbik party’s successful performance in the first round of Hungary’s general election may come as a shock, but it is no surprise.
Fidesz treads lightly on budget deficit in election manifesto
As Fidesz gets closer to governance, its politicians are becoming more and more cautious when talking about their program. Fidesz’s policy wonks are putting less emphasis on stimulating the economy.
Fidesz Prepares for Governance with a Market-Friendly Program
Fidesz, which had been pursuing a strategy of “tactical reticence” in its campaign communications, recently released its election manifesto entitled “The Politics of National Affairs.”
The impact of the Greek crisis on Hungary
Hungary, which was close to bankruptcy at the end of 2008, made brutal spending cuts. The Greek government meanwhile responded to the crisis with lavishly spending money that it did not have.
Of Programs and Popularity
Fidesz continues to dominate the polls, regardless of accusations that it does not have a program. The Socialists are pushing a more populist tone in order to mobilize their traditional voters.
BKV: End of the line for the teflon party
Give credit to the governing Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP)’s PR people. They helped transform Gyula Horn into the man who the greatest number of Hungarians wanted to be prime minister in 1994.
A Two-Thirds Majority for Fidesz – Chances, Opportunities and Risks
The opposition Fidesz party is heading into the April election campaign with such a commanding opinion-poll lead that it may gain a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
Socialist woes in Hungary
The Socialists and the governments suffered numerous setbacks. The property tax has been abolished, more and more heads roll at BKV and the party's poll numbers failed to improve.
In pre-election spending they trust
Hungary is still catching its breath from its near-miraculous feat of finishing 2009 at the target budget deficit of 3.9% of GDP, but investor applause is muted.
The election campaign is heating up in Hungary
The president is expected to announce the dates of the 2010 general election in late January, with the first round likely to fall on April 11 and the second on April 25.
Hungarian Parties Gearing Up for Campaign
Most Hungarian parties have finished their preparations for the election campaign, and the political debate next year will be dominated by the quest for votes.
2010 Budget Passed in Hungary
The smooth passage of the 2010 budget marks the beginning of the end for the Bajnai cabinet. The budget was the government’s last major hurdle.
Most Significant Risk Factors that Could Hinder Economic Recovery in Hungary
Large inactive population, high and badly structured state redistribution, corruption, possible ethnic tensions and the emergence of the far-right are the key risk factors in Hungary.
Political meddling - backroom agreement over commercial radio stations
The cancellation of the operating licenses of two commercial radio stations and granting these to new operators affiliated with MSZP and Fidesz represents gross and blatant interference in the media.
Reasons behind the resurgence of the far right
A joint statement by the Hungarian Anti-Racist Foundation and Political Capital
The Suez affair in Hungary: Fidesz and the foreign investors
The decision of the Fidesz-led municipal government to unilaterally terminate a contract with French Suez Environnement, minority owner of the municipal water works in Pécs raise political risks.
Conflicts within MSZP consolidate the Hungarian PM's position
The break-up of the Budapest MSZP-SZDSZ coalition will not have a tangible effect on the passage of the 2010 budget, a majority of the SZDSZ faction in Parliament is expected to support the budget.
Passing the budget is the key to success for the Hungarian government
In the coming period, the government’s success depends on the passage of the 2010 budget, fundamentally accepted by international investors, as well as adherence to key 2009 budget figures.
2010 budget passage is all but certain in Hungary
In light of key figures the 2010 budget is not going to fall prey to the upcoming election campaign; it is a tough austerity budget proposing to cut spending to the tune of HUF 400 billion.
Elections in Hungary Overshadowed by Constitutional Problems
Parliamentary elections to be held in the spring of 2010 carry constitutional and political risks due to an outdated election system.
Hungarian Guard banned
The dissolution of the Hungarian Guard may radicalize and mobilize the far right.
Another record low - accumulating risks in Hungary
The economic and political risk index sank to an all time low in 2008-2009, due primarily to the fact that the crisis has magnifiedand brought to the surface economic, political and social problems.
Chances for Early Elections in Hungary Diminished
With the passage of the tax bill, the chances of early elections in Hungary have diminished. Having implemented almost all components of a short-term crisis management program, it is now in a vacuum.
Unstability Follows EP Elections in Hungary
Major conflicts are ahead, and the government's fate hinges on the tax bill vote in Parliament.
Dissolution of the Hungarian Guard may radicalize and mobilize the far right
The dissolution of the Hungarian Guard could be an efficient tool for the law enforcement bodies to fight against extremism in Hungary.
Huge Opposition Victory in Pécs, Hungary
MSZP suffered a staggering defeat in the mayoral elections of Pécs, and that can be seen as an indicator to the EP elections.
Devaluation of real estate funds could destabilize the Hungarian mortgage market
The flight of capital from real estate funds is expected to persist and accelerate. Banks’ eminent interest is to prevent the meltdown of the mortgage market.
New Hungarian PM, New Program
The new Bajnai government's program was well received, but it can alter public opinion for the worse before the European parliamentary elections.
New Hungarian Government Starts Long Awaited Spending Cuts
The newly formed Bajnai-government in Hungary has released its crisis-management plans to curb the budget deficit and counterweight the effects of the global financial crisis.
Gordon Bajnai to Become the New Hungarian PM
Last week the chances for an early election considerably diminished, its not in anyone's interest. Gordon Bajnai will most certainly become the new PM.
Hungary: Breaking up with the region?
On the 4th of March the Hungarian currency began to fall, contrary to the rising currencies of other national currencies region. After a sudden fall the EUR/HUF rate reached the limit of 312.
New PM candidate plans serious austerity measures in Hungary
After Gordon Bajnai has received the support from both the majority of MSZP and SZDSZ factions, it is very likely that he can be the successor of Ferenc Gyurcsány.
Hungary: what’s next?
Following de facto resignation of the Prime Minister of Hungary there are two likely scenarios: 1) early elections or 2) a new government supported by the socialist MSZP and the liberal SZDSZ.
Anti-Roma sentiment is getting out of hand in Hungary
The process that started in the autumn of 2006 with the Olaszliszka lynching seems to be completing its course. Political discourse on the Roma question has swung from one extreme to the other.
The Crisis of the Hungarian Socialist Party
Tensions within the Socialist Party are rising, both generational and ideological. The stability of the is not yet affected, but the real test will be the passing of the 2010 budget later this year.
The Crisis Stays in the Center of Hungarian Politics
The economic crisis has the government with little room for maneuvering until the 2010 election. Fidesz seems to have abandoned hopes for an early election and plans on taking over in 2010.
Can Hungary become a bioethanol superpower?
Biofuels production offers an economic growth potential for Hungary in the short- and medium term, moreover, first-generation biofuels may utilize annual surpluses of agricultural production.
The political consequences of the financial crisis in Hungary
The financial rescue package has restored the confidence in the Hungarian economy and currency in the short run. However, there is a risk that the crisis will amplify the existing deficiencies.
Resurgent Hungarian Prime Minister, Paralysed MSZP
In the past few weeks Ferenc Gyurcsány’s position has stabilized somewhat. The „spy scandal” will remain the most important political topic in the coming period.
Hungarian PM's Fate Hinges on the 2009 Budget
The fate of Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and the minority government will be determined by the two major issues before Parliament this fall: the tax legislation and the budget.
Hungarian PM announces cautious autumn agenda
The PM offers a tax cut deal in the following four years, but only in line with the convergence program and only if there is extra income deriving from a much more transparent taxation culture.
Hungarian PM announces cautious autumn agenda
The PM offers a tax cut deal in the following four years, but only in line with the convergence program and only if there is extra income deriving from a much more transparent taxation culture.
The Apollo-affair: Fidesz and the “alien capitalists”
The Apollo-affair and the attacks against Hankook reveal the contradictions in the political strategy of Fidesz: the conflict between the opposition position and the pre-government position.
In Wait for an Action Plan in Hungary
The government will reveal its action plan for Parliament’s autumn session in late August or early September. SZDSZ will decide on whether or not to support the government after they have seen it.
Hungarian Socialists: Back to Bottom
The rise in MSZP’s approval rating last month proved to be a temporary one, so they face the same problems that they had in the spring.
Hungarian Opposition Courting Economic Actors
Fidesz is consciously courting economic players, preparing for an early election. The presidential election of SZDSZ has failed to produce a stable situation in the party.
Fidesz and economic policy risks
While the detailed economic policy of Fidesz leaders cannot be foreseen from their declarations, it became obvious that the next government also will have a tight room for economic maneuvering.
Tension grows between the NBH and the political elite
The National Bank of Hungary (NBH) was criticized by both the Hungarian government and the opposition after increasing the interest rate. We expect the political pressure to increase in the future.
Shrinking Manouvring Room of Hungarian PM
The political environment is becoming less and less advantageous to the government. Fidesz has started a campaign that is aimed at attacking the government on economic grounds.
‘State dependence’ of Hungarians is a major block to economic growth
Economic and political processes in Hungary are extensively influenced by voters’ anti-market and anti-competition sentiments. This has a considerably negative effect on competitiveness
Hungarian PM's Position Stabilized
Ferenc Gyurcsány's position has stabilized for the moment, it can only be maintained if he is successful in garnering parliamentary support for the proposals of the minority government.
The implications of a European slowdown for Hungary
The US subprime crisis will substantially reduce economic growth in the US and in Europe. As a result, Hungarian exports will likely decline and reduce the chances of a healthy economic growth.
Instability in Hungary Due to the Results of the Referendum
The new government is not likely to initiate reforms and it will possibly enact popular measures to cater former MSZP voters. Ferenc Gyurcsány's has significantly weakened, but he has no alternative.
HUF’s vulnerability rising
The consequences of the 9 March referendum and the ongoing coalition crisis have sharply raised the vulnerability of the Hungarian currency (
Coalition break-up: Short-term political forecast (valid only for 2 months)
Following the referendum the position of the PM has become unstable, the coalition tensions have risen.Hence the risky moves of the Prime Minister in the last days.
Refrendum a Major Defeat of the Government of Hungary
While the results of the referendum is a big defeat of the government, reshuffle is not expected in the next few months, but policy changes will follow.
Political risk in Hungary increased by the referendum
The referendum on 9th March is exceptional, since democratic countries rarely hold referenda on the abolition of point-of-delivery charges for health care and of university tuition fees.
Hungarian Parties Have Seemingly Moved Beyond the Referendum
Ferenc Gyurcsány tried to undermine the last push of Fidesz by announcing potentially popular initiatives, while Fidesz tries to win voters in the political centre.
Hungarian Parties Trying to Assess the Referendum in Advance
The parties are trying to present the referendum according to their priorities. Whatever the result, major political shift is not expected in the short term.
Referendum Campaign Preparations in Hungary
Parties are preparing their campaign for the referendum on 9 March. The result will alter the strategies of the government and the opposition as well.
Political Risk in Hungary has increased due to actions of the Hungarian Guard
The Political Risk of Hungary and the region has increased in the previous months because of the actions of the Hungarian Guard (Magyar Gárda).