While Viktor Orbán presents himself as a great friend of authoritarian regimes in Hungary, Fidesz will no longer hold their party in the European Parliament.
Fidesz, which maintains good relations with the Russian and Chinese authorities and is at the level of statements in the EU with populist – often pro-Russian – parties and radical rhetoric in Hungary, behaves radically differently when it comes to taking positions on sensitive issues in the EP. Capital (PC) analysis, which examines how different political formations have voted in the last three years in 90 cases where condemnation of Russian and Chinese affairs, repression of authoritarian tendencies, action against disinformation have been discussed. The analysis scored from 0 to 100 on how critical each Member State delegation was on the issues at hand (higher scores indicate more critical attitudes). The research shows that in the EP, the Fidesz-KDNP shows more of a “European face”, they tend to move more closely with the mainstream of Parliament than the actual decision-making. When it comes to Russia, they bring in roughly an 80-point EP average, while delegates from Greece, France, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal and Germany, for example, are much less critical of Moscow. In the case of China, the representatives of the domestic governing parties are already more understanding, but they do not stand out from the mainstream here either: the Greek, French and Irish politicians are even less likely to harden against the Asian superpower. As the PC notes, overall, China is not very popular in Europe, and in the EP, so to speak, it can hardly feel its influence. Thus, the uncritical supporters of the Chinese regime are mostly weightless, mainly coming from the far left. While Russia has much less economic power than Beijing, due to its historical embeddedness, Moscow is able to assert its interests in Parliament somewhat better. But even among the populists, Russian support is not unanimous, and the representatives of the extremist parties involved in the Kremlin’s scope also fluctuate. A Hungarian example: after Béla Kovács, a spectacular Moscow party suspected of espionage, dropped out of Jobbik’s pixel, his current representative, Márton Gyöngyösi, became one of the most active EP delegates in the fight against authoritarian regimes. At the same time, participants in a conference organized to present the study noted that China had become the biggest threat to the EU as a whole. German MEP Reinhard Bütikofer downright sees that Asian power is clearly striving for world domination, trying to export its methods of government. Together, the need for global governance and the totalitarian nature of the Chinese regime – a high-tech observer state – could have a severe devastating effect on the EU’s core values. He acknowledged that China had not really found a catch in the EU institutions, but added that this was why it was trying to disintegrate in the Member States. Kevin Sheives, co-director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies (IFDS), sees Asian power trying to infiltrate the continent and shape its policies primarily through its economic ties. Thus, Chinese state-owned state-owned media companies are trying to get companies to spread a China-friendly narrative about the repression of Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or just the Uyghurs through acquisitions. At the same time, he said, the Chinese leadership is already seeing that China’s perception has fallen sharply in Europe over the past two to three years, so it is expected to look for more professional solutions to increase its influence. In contrast, governments, civil society and business, he said, should act together in a coordinated manner. Political Capital’s analysis also states that, in addition to strengthening the role of the EP, it would be necessary to abolish the Member States’ right of veto, ie to move to qualified majority voting. This could prevent European specialists trying to please the authoritarian states from paralyzing the EU’s joint action.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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