Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban expressed that “We, the Hungarians, are not a mixed race and we do not want to be that. The countries that Europeans and non-Europeans are mixed are not homogenous nations” on increasing migration and asylum on July 2022. This explanation caused reactions both within Hungary and EU, even Zsuzsa Hegedűs, the consultant of Orban for long years has resigned due to the explanations. As a result of the last statements of the Prime Minister and the disagreements between Budapest and Brussels, the possibility of Hungary’s leaving the EU (Hunexit) has started to be discussed in the international media again.
In that sense, Ankara Center for Crisis and Policy Studies (ANKASAM) represents the views of Prof. Dr. László Vasa, the Chief Advisor and Research Fellow of Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade.
- The policies implemented by Viktor Orban within the framework of the nation-state-based approach are critically brought to the agenda by some EU member actors over the allegations that the Hungarian Prime Minister is “radical-nationalist.” How do you think the discussion of these issues in the European media affects the relations between Budapest-Brussels?
I do not think Orban’s speech would be “radical-nationalist.” Prime Minister Orban always represented and articulated the importance of national interests instead of a homogenous EU approach. In this regard, it fits into the line of his previous speeches and thoughts. He is against illegal immigration and the European way of handling the phenomenon, as well as the abandonment of national and religious roots for a united Europe. In his view, Europe should be the alliance of the nation states instead of the United States of Europe where no national interests exist.
- Do you think “Hunexit” will be soon? What is the public opinion of Hungarians on this?
No, Hunexit is not on the political Agenda. Around 70% of the population supports the EU membership so bringing the HUNEXIT on the domestic agenda would be political suicide for the governing party. Prime Minister Orban never expressed such plans to exit the EU. He always mentioned the debates are pushing the EU to a better future.
- How would the approaches of other EU-member states to Hungary affect the future of Budapest in the organization?
The legal background is clear: each member states have the same rights within the EU, including veto issues. It cannot be a question of whether Hungary is needed for the EU as the country is a full member of the union. It is also clear that some Central European countries, for instance Poland and Hungary are not satisfied with the current methods and style of EU governance; so, the question is, how these countries can influence the future of EU towards their preferences.
- To what degree Orban’s latest declarations and policies affected his charisma in the Hungarian public view?
Orban’s latest speech generated a public debate mainly by the opposition, but the polls show that the popularity of the Orban government wasn’t influenced by this speech.
Prof. Dr. László Vasa
After his degrees in agricultural economics, German-Hungarian translation and international MBA studies, he completed his PhD and habilitation at Szent Istvan University, Hungary. He worked as an associate professor at this university, where he also acted as the vice dean for international affairs of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences. László is a research professor of the Széchenyi István University and a private professor. His main fields of research are economics of transition, Post-Soviet studies and international issues of agricultural economics. He actively participates in several international scientific organisations and networks as a visiting professor and honorary doctor of Japanese, Russian, and Kazakh universities.