Kim Lane Scheppele: In praise of the Tavares Report

Today Europe acted to hold the Hungarian government to the constitutional values that it eagerly endorsed when it joined the European Union nearly a decade ago.

The action came in the form of the Tavares Report which sailed through the European Parliament with many votes to spare.  The report provides a bill of particulars against the Fidesz government and lays out a strong program to guide European Union institutions in bringing Hungary back into the European fold.   With the passage of this report, Europe has finally said no to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his constitutional revolution.

The Tavares Report is by far the strongest and most consequential official condemnation of the Fidesz consolidation of power over the last three years.  And it creates a strong set of tools for European institutions to use in defending the long-term prospects for Hungarian democracy.

The report passed with a surprisingly strong vote:   370 in favor, 248 against and 82 abstentions.   In a Parliament split almost evenly between left and right, this tally gave the lie to the Hungarian government’s claim that the report was merely a conspiracy of the left.  With about 50 of the 754 MEPs absent, the total number of yes votes was still larger than the total number of MEPs of all of the left parties combined.   In short, even if all MEPs had been present, the left alone still couldn’t account for all of those votes.   And since the 82 abstentions had the effect of allowing the report to go forward, they should be read as soft “yeses” rather than undecided or negative votes.

Most of the abstentions no doubt came from Fidesz’s own party in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP).  Many EPP members signaled ahead of time that they could not back Orbán but also would not vote overtly against the position of their party, which officially supported him without whipping the votes.    FIdesz had been counting on party discipline to save it.  But now it is clear that Fidesz is terribly isolated within the EPP.

The tally on the final report was not a roll-call vote, so we do not know for sure just who voted for it in the end.  But the roll-call votes on the proposed amendments to the bill (see pp. 106-119 of this complicated document)  revealed that many members of the European People’s Party (EPP) and the even-more-conservative group of European Conservatives and Reformists (ERC) voted to keep the report from being diluted at crucial junctures.   Each attempt to weaken the report was rejected openly by 18-22 EPP votes and by 8-12 ERC votes.   We can guess that the MEPs who rejected the hostile changes must have voted in favor of the report in the end, along with even more of their colleagues who could at that point vote anonymously.

For a government that believes that majorities are everything and supermajorities are divine, it must have been hard for Fidesz to see only one-third of those in the European Parliament voting in its defense, when conservatives occupy about half of the seats.   Since many of the votes in the Fidesz column were from cranky Euro-skeptics who simply did not want the EU to gain more powers rather than from those who were solidly backing the broader Fidesz view of the world, the defeat is even more humiliating.    Where was the United European Right when Orbán needed them?   Apparently not in his camp.

When he dramatically appeared in the European Parliament for the debate yesterday, Orbán claimed that the report represented the persecution of a well-meaning right-wing government by the unified and hostile European left.

Today, with this extraordinary vote, we saw a coalition of left and right MEPs standing up together for the values of Europe.

The Tavares report is named after Rui Tavares, the Portuguese MEP who was the rapporteur on this patient and careful study of the Hungarian constitutional revolution.  He deserves much of the credit for the factually impeccable report and as well as for skillfully guiding it through a complicated and perilous process.   Despite repeated attempts to amend the report, gut its strong conclusions and weaken its remedies by Fidesz MEPs and their allies, all efforts to change the report in any substantial way failed at every stage.

Rui Tavares

Rui Tavares

With its acceptance today of the Tavares Report, the European Parliament has created a new framework for enforcing the principles of Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union, which proclaims that the Union is “founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities.”

So what, concretely, does the report do?  It puts a very clever system of monitoring and assessment in place.    While there are many elements in the report, the most important four elements are these, identified by paragraph number in the report as voted by the Parliament today:

  1.   An “Article 2 Alarm Agenda” which requires the European Commission in all of its dealings with Hungary to raise only Article 2 issues until such time as Hungary comes into compliance with the report (para. 69).  This Alarm Agenda effectively blocks all other dealings between the Commission and Hungary until Hungary addresses the issues raised in the report.
  2. A “Trilogue” (a three-way dialogue) in which the Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament will each delegate members to a new committee that will engage in a close review of all activities of the Hungarian government relevant to the report (Para. 85).   This committee is charged with assessing the progress that Hungary is making in complying with the list of specific objections that the report identifies.  The Trilogue sets up a system of intrusive monitoring, much more intrusive than the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP) from which Hungary just escaped.   Under the EDP, European bodies only looked at the budget’s bottom line to determine whether Hungary’s deficit was within acceptable bounds.  Under the Trilogue, the committee can examine anything that is on the long list of particulars that the report identifies as within its scope.
  3. A “Copenhagen Commission” or high-level expert body through which a panel of distinguished and independent experts will be assigned the power to review continued compliance with the Copenhagen criteria used for admission to the EU on the part of any member state (para. 78-80).   The idea behind this body, elaborated in a report by my Princeton colleague Jan-Werner Müller, is that non-political experts should be given the task of judging whether member states are still acting on the values of Article 2.   Since Orbán kept claiming double standards and dirty politics all of the way through this process in the European Parliament, a Copenhagen Commission consisting of impeccable experts and modeled on the Council of Europe’s Commission for Democracy through Law (the Venice Commission) would move the process of fact-finding and assessment from political officials to non-partisan experts.
  4. And in the background, there is still Article 7 of the Treaty of the European Union.  Article 7, which identifies a procedure through which an EU member state can be deprived of its vote in the European Council and therefore would lose representation in the decision-making processes of the EU, is considered the “nuclear option” – unusable because extreme.   But the Tavares Report holds out the possibility of invoking Article 7 if the Hungarian government does not comply with the monitoring program and reform its ways  (para. 86).    Because the Tavares Report lays out detailed expectations of the Hungarian government, the Parliament and the Council who would have to vote on Article 7 in the end would have a strong factual record to work with if they decided to go nuclear.

These are important tools in the toolkit that European institutions can now use to ensure that a member state of the European Union maintains its European constitutional commitments.

Yesterday at the plenary debate, both Commission President José Manual Barroso and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding indicated their willingness to follow the Parliament’s direction.    We can therefore expect an eager uptake from the Commission on the elements of the report that require the Commission’s active participation.

But perhaps the most breathtaking part of the report is the list of what these various monitoring bodies can examine.    Here it is worth quoting at length from the report itself, because the scope and breadth of the complaints against the Hungarian government indicate that these monitoring processes will be authorized to look at the most fundamental elements of what it means to be a robust democracy committed to the rule of law and the protection of human rights.  Here is the list of items that the Hungarian government must address, taken from para. 71 of the report, where the Parliament . . .

Urges the Hungarian authorities to implement as swiftly as possible all the measures the European Commission as the guardian of the treaties deems necessary in order to fully comply with EU law, fully comply with the decisions of the Hungarian Constitutional Court and implement as swiftly as possible the following recommendations, in line with the recommendations of the Venice Commission, the Council of Europe and other international bodies for the protection of the rule of law and fundamental rights, with a view to fully complying with the rule of law and its key requirements on the constitutional setting, the system of checks and balances and the independence of the judiciary, as well as on strong safeguards for fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, the media and religion or belief, protection of minorities, action to combat discrimination, and the right to property:

On the Fundamental Law:

–             to fully restore the supremacy of the Fundamental Law by removing from it those provisions previously declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court;

–             to reduce the recurrent use of cardinal laws in order to leave policy areas such as family, social, fiscal and budget matters to ordinary legislation and majorities;

–             to implement the recommendations of the Venice Commission and, in particular, to revise the list of policy areas requiring a qualified majority with a view to ensuring meaningful future elections;

–             to secure a lively parliamentary system which also respects opposition forces by allowing a reasonable time for a genuine debate between the majority and the opposition and for participation by the wider public in the legislative procedure;

–             to ensure the widest possible participation by all parliamentary parties in the constitutional process, even though the relevant special majority is held by the governing coalition alone;

On checks and balances:

–             to fully restore the prerogatives of the Constitutional Court as the supreme body of constitutional protection, and thus the primacy of the Fundamental Law, by removing from its text the limitations on the Constitutional Court’s power to review the constitutionality of any changes to the Fundamental Law, as well as the abolition of two decades of constitutional case law; to restore the right of the Constitutional Court to review all legislation without exception, with a view to counterbalancing parliamentary and executive actions and ensuring full judicial review; such a judicial and constitutional review may be exerted in different ways in different Member States, depending on the specificities of each national constitutional history, but once established, a Constitutional Court – like the Hungarian one, which after the fall of the communist regime has rapidly built a reputation among Supreme Courts in Europe – should not be subject to measures aimed at reducing its competences and thus undermining the rule of law;

–             to restore the possibility for the judicial system to refer to the case law issued before the entry into force of the Fundamental Law, in particular in the field of fundamental rights;

             to strive for consensus when electing the members of the Constitutional Court, with meaningful involvement of the opposition, and to ensure that the members of the court are free from political influence;

–             to restore the prerogatives of the parliament in the budgetary field and thus secure the full democratic legitimacy of budgetary decisions by removing the restriction of parliamentary powers by the non‑parliamentary Budget Council;

–             to provide clarifications on how the Hungarian authorities intend to remedy the premature termination of the term of office of senior officials with a view to securing the institutional independence of the data protection authority;

On the independence of the judiciary:

–             to fully guarantee the independence of the judiciary by ensuring that the principles of irremovability and guaranteed term of office of judges, the rules governing the structure and composition of the governing bodies of the judiciary and the safeguards on the independence of the Constitutional Court are enshrined in the Fundamental Law;

–             to promptly and correctly implement the abovementioned decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 6 November 2012 and of the Hungarian Constitutional Court, by enabling the dismissed judges who so wish to be reinstated in their previous positions, including those presiding judges whose original executive posts are no longer vacant;

–             to establish objective selection criteria, or to mandate the National Judicial Council to establish such criteria, with a view to ensuring that the rules on the transfer of cases respect the right to a fair trial and the principle of a lawful judge;

–             to implement the remaining recommendations laid down in the Venice Commission’s Opinion No CDL-AD(2012)020 on the cardinal acts on the judiciary that were amended following the adoption of Opinion CDL-AD(2012)001;  [NOTE:  Venice Commission reports on Hungary can be found here.]

On the electoral reform:

–              to invite the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ ODIHR to carry out a joint analysis of the comprehensively changed legal and institutional framework of the elections and to invite the ODIHR for a Needs Assessment Mission and a long and short term election observation.

–             to ensure balanced representation within the National Election Committee;

On the media and pluralism:

–             to fulfil the commitment to further discuss cooperation activities at expert level on the more long‑term perspective of the freedom of the media, building on the most important remaining recommendations of the 2012 legal expertise of the Council of Europe;

–             to ensure timely and close involvement of all relevant stakeholders, including media professionals, opposition parties and civil society, in any further review of this legislation, which regulates such a fundamental aspect of the functioning of a democratic society, and in the process of implementation;

–             to observe the positive obligation arising from European Court of Human Rights jurisprudence under Article 10 ECHR to protect freedom of expression as one of the preconditions for a functioning democracy;

–             to respect, guarantee, protect and promote the fundamental right to freedom of expression and information, as well as media freedom and pluralism, and to refrain from developing or supporting mechanisms that threaten media freedom and journalistic and editorial independence;

–             to make sure that objective, legally binding procedures and mechanisms are in place for the selection and appointment of heads of public media, management boards, media councils and regulatory bodies, in line with the principles of independence, integrity, experience and professionalism, representation of the entire political and social spectrum, legal certainty and continuity;

–             to provide legal guarantees regarding full protection of the confidentiality-of-sources principle and to strictly apply related European Court of Human Rights case law;

–             to ensure that rules relating to political information throughout the audiovisual media sector guarantee fair access to different political competitors, opinions and viewpoints, in particular on the occasion of elections and referendums, allowing citizens to form their own opinions without undue influence from one dominant opinion‑forming power;

On respect for fundamental rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities:

–             to take, and continue with, positive actions and effective measures to ensure that the fundamental rights of all persons, including persons belonging to minorities and homeless persons, are respected and to ensure their implementation by all competent public authorities; when reviewing the definition of ‘family’, to take into account the legislative trend in Europe to broaden the scope of the definition of family and the negative impact of a restricted definition of family on the fundamental rights of those who will be excluded by the new and more restrictive definition;

–             to take a new approach, finally assuming its responsibilities towards homeless – and therefore vulnerable – people, as set out in the international treaties on human rights to which Hungary is a signatory, such as the European Convention on Human Rights and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and thus to promote fundamental rights rather than violating them by including in its Fundamental Law provisions that criminalise homeless people;

–             calls on the Hungarian Government to do all in its power to strengthen the mechanism for social dialogue and comprehensive consultation and to guarantee the rights associated with this;

–             calls on the Hungarian Government to increase its efforts to integrate the Roma and to lay down targeted measures to ensure their protection. Racist threats directed at the Roma must be unequivocally and resolutely repelled;

On freedom of religion or belief and recognition of churches:

–             to establish clear, neutral and impartial requirements and institutional procedures for the recognition of religious organisations as churches, which respect the duty of the State to remain neutral and impartial in its relations with the various religions and beliefs and to provide effective means of redress in cases of non‑recognition or lack of a decision, in line with the constitutional requirements set out in the abovementioned Decision 6/2013 of the Constitutional Court;

One more item was added to this list by amendment from Rui Tavares in the Parliament this morning:

– to cooperate with the European institutions in order to ensure that the provisions of the new National Security Law comply with the fundamental principles of the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, respect for private and family life and the right to an effective remedy.

In short, this is a huge list of items, which together constitute the core of the Fidesz power grab.  This section of the report identifies the list of things that the Hungarian government must now change, and the mechanisms I identified above are the key ones through which compliance will be monitored and assessed.

It is hard to imagine a more sweeping indictment of the Fidesz constitutional revolution in Hungary over these last three years.

But back to where we started:  with today’s vote in the European Parliament.   This long list of offending actions of the Hungarian government was agreed to by left and right in the European Parliament, by a large majority and with serious tools to ensure that the Hungarian government changes its ways and returns to the path of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights.

The European Parliament is the most diverse and democratic institution in Europe.  One day when the history of the European constitution is written, the Tavares Report and its enthusiastic acceptance in the European Parliament will stand for Europe at its best.

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Guest
London Calling! Yes, history is being made – at last. I always believed that Hungary’s salvation lay in external hands – and thus it is proving. I always believed too that Orban and Szajer weren’t as ignorant of democracy as their measures indicated – they knew. And they have tested the EU to the limit – and it seems that it has passed a very high stress test – even if late. I believe that the ‘Copenhagan Commission’ will recommend that the Hungarian Constitution is illegal as it stands. In that I mean about as distanced from the ‘principles’ of the EU – that Orban signed up to voluntarily – as it is possible to get. And which Tavares has indicated. They will have no option but to recommend that the constitution is suspended. And a proper mechanism introduced for its amendments. Out with Szajer’s Ipod – and a proper internal legal faculty introduced as an integral step in the process. The drawing up of a new constitution must be a priority – with the full participation of the opposition and all other ‘stakeholders’. All of them. With full representations of the Hungarian ‘underclasses’. All of them. But alas –… Read more »
Member

I can only applaud the European Parliament for recognizing the need that every country must comply wit he basic requirements of democratic values, humanitarian rights, religious freedom, and the separation of state and church. It is refreshing to know that when it comes to the values of the developed world, there are not party politics, and the left and the right can work together to secure a safe future for all Europe.

Maybe the Orban government takes an exception to the list, but I do not see any requirements that should be any surprise for any developed country. If the current government feels that they comply with these basic requirements as presented to them. they should just put a check mark next to it. THis can go for any other country, but I doubt that any other country would come up wit the list where every item remains unchecked.

Guest

Yes! I meant Ipad!

F2013
Guest

Scheppele is the great hero.
Hungarian history will reserve her a place of special honor.
She saved our freedom and dignity.
Now the ordinary Hungarians can feel assured that Orban the tyrant has tried to deceive the whole world.
Enough.
Hungary retake your freedom.
Dump Orban, Sztajer, Kover….Vona, Morvay…
End your run of shame.

Stevan Harnad (@AmSciForum)
Guest

Yes, Bravo to Rui Tavares!

But also to Kim, and to Eva. They have all played a vital part in this wonderful outcome.

And hats off also to the many members of EPP and ERC who either voted or abstained on principle instead of displaying blind party-Fidelity/szity! Historical credit is due to all.

And whether or not it succeeds in reigning in Orban before his inevitable ouster in disgrace by Hungarian voters — whether in 2014 or 2018 — the Tavares Report and vote has reaffirmed the integrity and value of the European Union.

Now prepare for tomorrow, and Orban’s “parliamentary” show-vote, invoking the Hungarian “freedom-fighter” spirit in the struggle against EU despotism… What a cynical travesty…

Member

The version accepted by the European Parliament on Wednesday is slightly different from the text linked here as a new passage has been inserted, reflecting the brand new National Security Surveillance act (para. 22). So up from para. 22 one should be added to the paragraph numbers.
(It goes, ‘aggodalmát fejezi ki az egyes törvényeknek a nemzetbiztonsági ellenőrzés új szabályainak megállapítása érdekében szükséges módosításáról szóló 2013. évi LXXII. törvény több rendelkezése miatt, amelyek negatívan befolyásolhatják a hatalmi ágak szétválasztását, az igazságszolgáltatás függetlenségét, a családi és magánélet tiszteletben tartását, valamint a hatékony jogorvoslathoz való jog érvényesülését’. I couldn’t find the English text but it is concerned about new rules for national security surveillance having a negative influence on the separation of powers, the independence of the judiciary, the respect for family life and privacy, and the right to effective legal reddress.)

Minusio
Guest
The Tavares Report is indeed remarkable for its objectivity, its attention to detail and its “roadmap” character, obligating the Commission to do much more than it has in the past. But what will happen next? Most of us agreed that Orbán is driven by two motivations: (a) to gain and keep absolute power; (b) to line his pockets and those of his clique and handpicked supporters. I expect a noisy and wholesale rejection of the report by the Hungarian parliament. From then on Orbán will drag his feet, offering some unsubstantial new wording here and another there. This can go on for years. The problem is: The Tavares Report and the EU Commission cannot force the Hungarian opposition to unite or make the lethargic Hungarian voters vote or riot in the streets. Will Orbán leave the EU? No way! Because the same day, the many foreign companies that ensure Hungary’s exports and at least some tax income from close to a million well-paid employees will disappear because Hungary would then have left the European single market. That, and only that, would be his undoing, and he knows it. (All his chicanery of foreign companies was targeted only on those that… Read more »
Hank
Guest

“This Alarm Agenda effectively blocks all other dealings between the Commission and Hungary until Hungary addresses the issues raised in the report.” What does “all other dealings” mean in this context? What kind of talks, negotiations have to be suspended? Or are we also talking the implementation of tenders, subsidies, requests for subsidies?

Bowen
Guest

This is a brilliant summary of what happened in the EU today.

Somewhat O/T. My wife informs me (via Klubradio) that Fidesz are considering it making it legal to sell cats and dogs for food purposes.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this was also against various EU law. But no doubt this is for our comrades in China?

Marcel Dé (@MarcelD10)
Guest
[So the roll-call records were about the amendments… thanks for explaining this.] To me, the good news is that the old core of Europe still has the energy to stand up for the principles the Union was built upon. Surely, a strong whip discipline in the S&D group was instrumental in achieving this first step; and indeed, parts of this group do not show, to say the least, a steady record of commitment to those same principles. However, it’s the old alliance of center, right-of-center and left-of-center that lead the way, and did the job. Daughters and sons of the founding partners in the 1950s. Personally, I don’t care if on other matters they’re frantic ‘liberals’, ‘greens’, ‘socialists’ or ‘conservatives’. As a matter of fact, the idea that they may actually disagree on so many subjects, yet regroup and agree upon shared standards for fundamental rights and institutional values, is at the very heart of this united Europe. It’s only a first step, and obviously no front page news, for the implications are still unclear. However, I count on Messrs Orbán & Vona to give this affair all the continent-wide publicity it deserves, thus re-mobilising legions of disheartened pro-Europeans in… Read more »
tappanch
Guest

@Bowen

Dog owners will bring down Orban if dog food is permitted – I am serious.
Food from cat is a different matter, but Muslim states will protest heavily. 🙂

@Tavares

If there are no economic sanctions, the Orban tyranny is here to stay.
The five billion euro yearly EU support (will it be seven from next year?), skimmed by
Fidesz-related intermediaries props up the regime.

Guest

What I don’t get:

Fidesz always declares responsible for their problems the “liberal-green-left” in Europe and the “globalist multinational companies and the banks” – now these obviously have not too much in common …

The only connection I see – the Jews!

So is this the old game again – the Jews are responsible for Hungary’s plight ???

BTW, thse theories are also advanced by some of the extreme right wing loonies on pol.hu, so is this the hidden message of Fidesz ???

DH
Guest
There are around 9.9 million Hungarian are living in the country. I doubt that more than 10,000 will ever be aware of the contents of this report. Hungarian media will not uncover the details, and ultimately Hungarians will “eat” what Fidesz tells them. They will be happy even to leave the Eu if that will be the accord of the government to remain in power. No thoughts will be paid to funds etc. at that time.These decisions are not made on rational bases. Firstly power needs to be secured at all cost. Only then comes what to do with the situation that funds are not available. But that is a different story which could be “solved” for decades in a dictatorship. Anyhow, I disagree with everyone who blames OV and Fidesz for all these. They could be certainly blamed, but then no one should forget that the people of Hungary are supporting them. The events happened in the last three years in the country would have caused serious civil opposition in any civilized country. The fact that in Hungary sometimes these events have not even had echoes, or if had, only a few of 10-20,000 people went to the streets,… Read more »
Ivan
Guest

An excellent outcome! Step one. Interestingly, for the vast majority of non-Hungarians permanently domiciled in Hungary, the prospect of Hungary leaving the EU is obviously more than problematic. But hearteningly, it seems that, across the board, folk are far more interested in what is morally right rather than their own short-term comforts. There seems to be consensus that Hungary is not acting in line with democratic European Union norms, and shouldn’t really be in the EU.

The flags are interesting: In the divisive 2002 election, Fidesz were flying the EU and Hungarian flags (and Viktor was outraged that it wasn’t HIM that led his country into the EU in 2004); in 2006 Fidesz let the neo-fascist Arpad flags out of the bottle in their rallies and riots; in 2010 we were back to solid Magyar flags; and now we have a strange mixture of Magyar, Arpad and We-Will-Not-Be-A-Colony banners.

Member

Bowen :
Somewhat O/T. My wife informs me (via Klubradio) that Fidesz are considering it making it legal to sell cats and dogs for food purposes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was also against various EU law. But no doubt this is for our comrades in China?

You must be kidding me. ARe there any links for this? I guess it is cheaper to breed cats and dogs than pigs… I can’t believe this to be honest.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Some1 :

Bowen :
Somewhat O/T. My wife informs me (via Klubradio) that Fidesz are considering it making it legal to sell cats and dogs for food purposes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was also against various EU law. But no doubt this is for our comrades in China?

You must be kidding me. ARe there any links for this? I guess it is cheaper to breed cats and dogs than pigs… I can’t believe this to be honest.

Everything is possible. Fidesz is proposing to those unable to pay for burial, to the poor to shovel the grave themselves.
Samuel Johnson was right to write: “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.”
Poor Hungarians will receive instead of bread patriotic preaching from Viktor Orbán. No limit to their patience and endurance.

Member

Some1 :

Bowen :
Somewhat O/T. My wife informs me (via Klubradio) that Fidesz are considering it making it legal to sell cats and dogs for food purposes.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this was also against various EU law. But no doubt this is for our comrades in China?

You must be kidding me. ARe there any links for this? I guess it is cheaper to breed cats and dogs than pigs… I can’t believe this to be honest.

Could we please drop this topic? Some of us (such as myself) feel as strongly about protecting pigs and other innocent animals against cruelty as we do about protecting dogs and cats. This is a very sensitive issue, and it would be better not to inject it into the discussion of protecting democracy in Hungary.

http://j.mp/ForHumaneSociety

spectator
Guest

Thank you, Ms Scheppele for this great summary!
I’m pretty sure, that the vast majority of Hungarians has absolutely no idea, what the outcome of the report really is about, nor they have insight of the possibilities of those various monitoring bodies – hopefully – watching over Orban’s shoulder.

As it seems, the Great Leader in his all glory and his sidekicks head over heals trying to downplay and explain away the whole event, playing the victims of a Pan-European conspiracy “against Hungary” – question is, if the people still buying this bs in as large quantities as before…

Of the day’s events noteworthy Mr. Mesterházy’s rebuke to Orbán in the Hungarian Parliament – clear, outspoken and to the point, – I wonder, if it will reach the wide audience, and the action of defence forces around the home of the Fearless Leader, since a handful of upset people walking that way…

Does anybody remember, when the Orbán supporters demonstrated with alarm clocks?
They really have to take them out again in order to wake up their idol from this National Socialist slumber, before its too late…!

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

The great Hungarian sociologist István Bibó critizised a few decades ago the actual syndrome in Hungary –
the lack of realism
the lack of problem solving capacity
disproportional self-assessment
disproportional response to external effects. (Bibó 1986)

FransJ meij
Guest
kormos
Guest

@Wolfi re:”The only connection I see – the Jews!
Do you really?

kormos
Guest

@Karl Pfeifer
Did you quote from this edition? Misére des petits États d’Europe de l’Est. L’Harmattan, Paris, 1986. (French)
Could you please post the exact quote? I have a feeling that every nation cope with those problem areas.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

kormos :
@Karl Pfeifer
Did you quote from this edition? Misére des petits États d’Europe de l’Est. L’Harmattan, Paris, 1986. (French)
Could you please post the exact quote? I have a feeling that every nation cope with those problem areas.

I have it from György G. Márkus: “Political Cleavages and Antisemitism in Hungary”
http://epa.oszk.hu/02000/02051/00008/pdf/EPA02051_Tudomanyos_Kozlemenyek_18_029-041.pdf
I guess you could find it in “ELTORZULT MAGYAR ALKAT, ZSÁKUTCÁS MAGYAR TÖRTÉNELEM” http://mek.niif.hu/02000/02043/html/350.html
But I am not sure. I have read it 1986 and not since then.

I have not written about other nations. The Tavaresreport deals with Hungary today.
I have no doubt, that we had similar problems in Austria. But the problems were confronted by Austrian society in a different way. I have published about those Austrian problems many articles and most of them can be found on the internet. But Kormos, here we discuss Hungary therefore I stick to subject matter.

DH
Guest

Spactator:
“the victims of a Pan-European conspiracy “against Hungary” – question is, if the people still buying this bs in as large quantities as before…”

Yes, Hungarians will buy it, as much as they bought it before. Hungarians were attacked by the IMF, the EU, the international banks etc etc. I do not recall any reporter, journalist or others in the media telling to the audience or asking their subject the question: why Hungary? Why not Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech R., Slovakia etc.? Why only Hungary is attacked by everyone and permanently? Only a few Hungarians ask this question from themselves. The rest is happy to have someone to blame.

Andras
Guest

Oh, that’s easy. Hungary is attacked because it is the Hungarian goverment that dares to stand up against this ultraliberal-globalist-pan-European-banker-dictated world order.

Karl Pfeifer
Guest

Andras :
Oh, that’s easy. Hungary is attacked because it is the Hungarian goverment that dares to stand up against this ultraliberal-globalist-pan-European-banker-dictated world order.

Could you give us a few examples how the Hungarian government is doing that?
By concluding “strategic agreements” with those firms who invest in Hungary?
By lending money on the world market and paying 9% interest to speculators?
By filling the pockets of Simicska & Co?

DH
Guest
I see. Ok, then the question is: is life better for those in majority, who live in the EU under such ultraliberal order? Or Mari néni asks herself whether it is better to pay 1000 HUF less for the electricity and pay the highest VAT in the Universe on everything than the other way around? My impresion is that Hungarians do not pose even the simplest questions or critisisms. They are not “citoyens” but sheeps following a trend aired by the government controlled media as a regilion (rather than as a convincement) and being satisfied by the fact that everything is “national”. Even the newly opened tobacco stores are called “national tobacco stores” now…A simple word could make Hungarians happy which means that Hungarians are the ideal subjects of any dictator. The problem with the Eu approach is that it assumes that there are the oppressed Hungarians on the one hand and a “strange” government on the other; and between the two there is a huge gap. The sad reality is that this is simply not true and nobody will be able to achieve any change until the Hungarian government does basically only what the Hungarian people want. No-one can… Read more »
Minusio
Guest

@ DH. This is the worst and most depressing indictment of the Hungarian people I have ever read.

Do you really think the Hungarian case it that hopeless?

Petofi1
Guest

Andras :
Oh, that’s easy. Hungary is attacked because it is the Hungarian goverment that dares to stand up against this ultraliberal-globalist-pan-European-banker-dictated world order.

The Hungarian Government–aka Victor Orban, sui-meme seul–stands up for itself behind the smoke-screen of defending ‘Hungary” which only simpletons like you, Andras, and your Bekemenet compatriots, buy. Those who lead you buy the nose, like that rabid racist with the laughable tv programme (who’s name I’ve momentarily repressed), know better. And they piggy-back their ‘profits’ on the back of Viktor.

By the way, you’ve forgotten THE JEWS. Or are we required to decode your words: in which case Jews are only mentioned twice–ultraliberal and banker. Yes, we all know the jews are behind it.

Another thought for the thoughtful Mr. Andras: Did you know what Hitler’s great error was?
Well, when he killed off the German jews he could no longer blame them for what happened
to Germany post 1943. Then he turned on his own people…

Tell me, Andras, will Viktor have to get rid of the jews before he starts blaming Hungarians himself?

Member

Andras :
Oh, that’s easy. Hungary is attacked because it is the Hungarian goverment that dares to stand up against this ultraliberal-globalist-pan-European-banker-dictated world order.

Hi Andras,
Can you please quote the recommendations you do not agree with, especially the ones you feel is an attack against the conservative point of view. On this blog, most of us quote when we want to support our point of view. We would welcome the same from the conservatives, like yourself. It is just common courtesy you know, and that is not only apply to “this ultraliberal-globalist-pan-European-banker-dictated world”. (Also, banks are not a leftist idea!)

DH
Guest

@Minusio

In respect of a country which argues (you could read that in history school books as well) that its aim was always to join to Europe (with the meaning of “Western Europe”) and was unable to achieve it for 1,000 years and even when it is part of it formally (member of the EU) seeks relations with the east (Russians, Saudi, China etc.), attacks the Western order and in governmental ethics assimilates with the means that of Russia and Ukraine and South-America? And where the people are not opposing to this but applauding for being deprived by their own property (pension-funds), several fundamental rights (courts, media etc.) and it is now 99% chance that they will vote for the same next year? Well…yes. I do.

Kirsten
Guest

DH, my impression is that what you write might be even true to some extent, BUT this is also the case because it has not yet been tried (often enough) to offer to Hungary an alternative to this. It is too easy to repeat that people are “sheep” if there are no attempts being made to “enable” or “empower” them. There are quite a number of countries in Europe where it was long believed that democracy cannot work, Spain and Germany among them. I understand your frustration but to accept that this “stupidity” is eternal means also an acceptance that indeed, democracy is not for Hungarians – no matter what people said twenty years ago, and no matter that experience of other countries shows that you can “enable” people for this, and that they are later quite content with the outcome.

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