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Hungary seen as a potential driving force in Eastern Europe

June 21st, 2018

A pro-government analyst suggests that Hungary should play a leading role in uniting Central and East European countries which have basic common interests despite their many differences.

In a Magyar Idők OpEd piece, political scientist Tamás Fricz thinks Hungary should become a catalyst of co-operation among East European and Balkan countries in representing their interests vis a vis West European élites. In their joint opposition to the mass resettlement of migrants, he writes, the Visegrád 4 have shown that they have common interests. However, the political balance of power in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia is shaky. Political stability is strong in Hungary and Poland, but the Polish government is strongly anti-Russian. Nevertheless, their conflicts with Brussels makes them a strong ally for Hungary. Fritz understands the fears of the Baltic countries about Russia’s potentially imperial ambitions, which steers them towards conforming to mainstream EU policies. As for the Balkans, political instability and EU accession drives make it difficult for them to take sides in East-West debates within the European Union. Such disparate situations and strategic positions, Fricz believes, should not discourage Hungary from mediating between these countries and trying to unite them.

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