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Across Europe parties of varying ideological backgrounds are calling into question the the unelected bodies of the European Court and Commission. From Zizek to UKIP desires for reinstatements of national sovereignty are coming to challenge the bastions of Euro power in Strasbourg, Brussels and Frankfurt.
A new course is required, and by embracing a right-wing populist agenda Hungary has broken out of the European mould. Could this central European country, once praised for its successful transition to democracy, show us a new course? Or rather does Viktor Orban's regime represent a dagger pointed at the heart of Europe and everything European's believe?
Since 2010 Hungary has been governed at a national level by the Fidesz Party. A nominally "liberal" force, the party grew out of the organised resistance to the Hungarian Worker's Party when it crystalised in the late 1980s.
In the '90s Fidesz and Viktor Orban, its charismatic president and former student leader, were feted by neo-liberal western European politicians for driving through a economic reform program along the lines of the shock doctrine.
The social consequences of this saw Fidesz swept from power in 2002 to be replaced by the Labour Party. Moderate descendants of the Worker's Party, who expanded social programs and public investment. Losing support to the far-right Jobbick Party, in a climate of high unemployment and growing racism against minority groups such as the Jews and Roma, Fidesz re-branded itself in the late 2000s as a nationalistic and authoritarian force. Defeating a tired and scandal torn Labour Party in 2010, they took 70 per cent of the seats in Parliament, enough to amend the constitution at will.
The new government's first act was to declare a "national revolution" with notices to this effect placed in all government buildings. Furthering this, laws were passed granting the governing party significant powers over all areas of Hungarian life. Including appointments to the editorial boards of state owned media companies and powers to suppress publications.Support for Jobbick controlled local authorities attempts to terrorise and ghettoise Roma and a willingness to allow public displays of an anti-Semitic nature at Second World War Commemorations.
New constitutions seem to have secured Orban's position. The word "Republic" was removed from the official description of what the state is, and the ability of the Supreme Court to make rulings affecting legislation and governmental action was abolished. The constitutions also reduced Parliamentary Committee power and the ruling body of the National Bank is now seemingly appointed by those in poltical favour.
Shocking measures in 21st Century Europe. But measures which, despite Hungarian membership of the EU, have received only a semi-formal 'expression of concern' from the Council of Europe.
With countries inside and outside the EU coming under extraordinary pressure to implement EU mandated austerity programs, Europe's silence has been deafening. When it comes to weak EU institutions and democracy, its critics are right, Orban's changes to Hungary support them. Those who once cheered him through their silence still do.