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The challenges facing Europe in 2017

January 2nd, 2017

A left-wing commentator sees resurgent nationalism as the biggest challenge for the European continent. His pro-government counterpart on the other hand identifies illegal migration and Muslim fundamentalism as the mean threats to Europe’s future.

Népszava’s Róbert Friss finds the spread of EU scepticism alarming and fears that it now threatens the future of the European project. The left-wing columnist also has misgivings about Donald Trump as US President and believes that as his presidency will favour nationalist politics, it is likely to weaken international cooperation. As a result, both the United Nations and the European Union as a supranational organisations may lose their global influence. As for Hungary, Friss suspects that the Orbán government opposes further European integration because a more centralized EU would curb its own power, and prevent it from pressing forward with its illiberal vision. He believes nonetheless that the European Union can only be saved through further integration.

In Magyar Idők, Gyula Haraszti describes Europe as a continent at war. The pro-government commentator thinks that the masses of Muslim migrants who came to Europe illegally are potential warriors of the so-called Islamic State, which is waging an unconventional war against European culture and Christians. Haraszti finds it tragic that European law and ruling elites have been unable to defend the continent from such radical Muslim “occupiers”. He goes so far as to claim that in order to secure the safety of the continent, European leaders “need to switch to war logic” and stop illegal migrants. In an aside, Haraszti suggests that only illegal migrants ‘with ill intentions’ should be deported so that “Europe is saved for the Europeans”, while “real refugees need to be granted asylum as required by Christian and humanitarian morality”.

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