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EU seen as a lame duck

March 21st, 2020

Two strongly pro-government commentators think that the coronavirus emergency will further weaken the EU and increase the importance of nation-states.

In a comment on the government’s plans to protect Hungarian families and businesses (see BudaPost March 20), Magyar Nemzet’s Zsolt Bayer writes that in the case of an emergency, one can expect help from the national government rather than from the EU. Bayer accuses the EU of having neither responsibility nor a plan to remedy the impacts of the coronavirus shutdown. As a result, the EU will be further weakened by the current crisis, and people will realize that the locus of politics is the nation-state, he suggests.

Magyar Demokrata’s editor-in-chief András Bencsik writes that the ‘EU does not exist in a moral sense – it hasn’t died, because it never existed’. The pro-government commentator believes that the EU hasn’t done anything to help its member states in the coronavirus struggle. In Bencsik’s view, the EU is a ‘lame duck’, and its main principle, solidarity across borders, exists only in the dreams of ‘liberal and neo-communist pundits’. The coronavirus emergency has highlighted that solidarity exists only on the national level, Bencsik claims. He concludes by suggesting that after the epidemic, the European Union needs to be redesigned.

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