– Taking it to a new level – Dagsavisen

– Taking it to a new level – Dagsavisen

The country’s controversial head of state, Viktor Orbán, has previously referred to the EU as an oppressive regime, according to NTB. He has received great appreciation from like-minded people far from the right in both Europe and the United States.

Orban has also maintained contacts with Russia and President Vladimir Putin, despite Russia’s war in Ukraine. The war lasted for more than 600 days.

POLITICO And Financial Times I have now accessed an undated letter sent from Orban to EU President Charles Michel, in which the Hungarian prime minister threatens to veto all EU support for Ukraine and deny Ukraine future membership of the bloc, the two newspapers write.

The Council of the European Union must hold a clear and open discussion on the feasibility of the EU’s strategic objectives in Ukraine. Are these goals still realistic? Will it be sustainable without US support, and can we take US support for granted? We have to look at what security policy will be like in Europe after the war, Orbán explained in the letter, according to Politico.

Orban ‘will stand up to madness’

The Prime Minister also adds his opinion that the European Council is not in a position to take important decisions on proposed security guarantees or financial support for Ukraine unless a consensus is reached on Ukraine’s future in the EU.

With this message, Orban is trying to undermine all aspects of EU policy in Ukraine, an anonymous EU diplomat told the Financial Times.

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Daniel Hegedus, an analyst at the US-based German Marshall Fund think tank, told the newspaper that Orban was now “ready to take the confrontation with the European Union to the next level.”

Recently, Orban bluntly said that Ukraine should not become a member of the European Union.

– Question about Ukraine’s membership in the European Union is not prepared well enough. We will stand against all the madness and all the illusions surrounding the war in Ukraine, the Hungarian Prime Minister said loudly at his Fidesz party congress before the weekend.

Next December, the twenty-seven member states of the European Union are scheduled to decide whether Ukraine will be formally invited to talks on joining the European Union. But Orban believes the EU made a huge mistake when it opened up Ukraine as a potential member.

Trade horses with Putin

Recently, security policy expert Patrik Oksanen of the Freefarld think tank told the Swedish newspaper Expressen that Viktor Orban is “compromising” with Russian President Vladimir Putin and playing a double game between Russia, NATO and the European Union.

FILE - Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban pose for a photo before their talks on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, on Tuesday, October.  October 17, 2023. Orban will be the focus of attention at the EU summit on Thursday, October 10.  February 26, 2023, following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.  Diplomats say that European Union leaders will confront him directly with accusations that he broke the unity of the European Union by supporting Ukraine.  (Grigori Sysoev, Sputnik, Kremlin pool photo via AP, file)

Tobias Schumacher is Professor of European Studies at NTNU and Vice-President of REDEMOS, an international research project on EU support for democracy in Eastern Europe. He agrees with Oksanin’s views.

– But in a sense, Orbán being a nuisance is a bit old news. The Eastern Europe expert told Dagsavisen that he often played the role of someone who spoils the EU’s foreign policy plans, and that was the case for a while.

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On the other hand, the Prime Minister of Hungary never took seriously his anti-EU rhetoric regarding the EU’s sanctions on Russia. Schumacher indicated that he knew he would be able to harm Hungary in several ways.

EU nightmare

Developments in the Netherlands will also worry the EU. The electoral victory of far-right anti-immigration and Eurosceptic Geert Wilders could be a nightmare for the Union, NTB writes.

In fact, Wilders called for a “Brexit” – where the Netherlands should follow the UK’s example and withdraw from the EU.

At the moment, such an idea appears to have little support among most Dutch people, but if Wilders gets a seat around the table in the EU, it could change the political dynamics in Europe.

It is possible that Wilders will cooperate with other far-right leaders, including Hungarian President Viktor Orbán, which could have consequences, among other things, for EU climate policy, EU reforms, and support for Ukraine.

Both Orban and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen sent their congratulations to Wilders on Thursday.

Huge sum for Hungary

On Thursday afternoon, NTB wrote that the European Union had agreed to pay €900 million to Orbán’s Hungary after approving the country’s economic recovery plan.

The amount is equivalent to approximately 10.5 billion Norwegian kroner.

Last year, the European Union decided to freeze transfers to Hungary worth about 22 billion euros after it became clear that the Hungarian government did not adhere to European Union rules on human rights and the principles of the rule of law.

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Read more about the war in Ukraine here

Facts about Viktor Orbán

  • Hungarian politician (60). Prime Minister from 1998 to 2002 and since 2010. He was re-elected for a fourth term in 2022.
  • He graduated in law from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.
  • Born on May 31, 1963. Married with five children.
  • He began his political career as a student leader in anti-communist demonstrations in 1989.
  • He founded the right-wing populist and nationalist conservative Fidesz party in 1988 and has led the party ever since.
  • In the 2010 elections, Fidesz won a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, giving the party the power to make constitutional amendments.
  • The opposition accused Orban of undermining democracy through a series of controversial legislative changes.
  • Orban’s government has often been in conflict with the European Union.

(Source: NTB)

Jabori Obasanjo

Jabori Obasanjo

"Coffee trailblazer. Certified pop culture lover. Infuriatingly humble gamer."

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