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EU recovery fund deal seen as a success for both Hungary and PM Orbán

July 23rd, 2020

Some left-wing commentators interpret the EU recovery fund agreement as a victory for Prime Minister Orbán, and a defeat for a unified Europe. Others disagree. Pro-government columnists welcome the deal as a pragmatic compromise, and see it as a huge defeat for liberals who accused the Hungarian government of violating democratic norms.

On Hírklikk, Péter Németh finds the EU recovery fund deal a disappointment. The left-wing columnist feels that the watering down of the rule of law criteria is a victory for Prime Minister Orbán. Németh believes the deal compromises basic EU values and encourages member states to see the EU as a cash cow. Németh also fears that EU funding will be used by ‘autocratic’ regimes to entrench their power. Taken together, Németh thinks that the deal will weaken the EU in the long run, rather than strengthening it and paving the road to a more federal Europe.

Népszava’s Tamás Róna also interprets the agreement as a sign of the weakness of the EU. The left-wing commentator suspects that member states are abandoning the idea of a unified EU and are willing to compromise democratic values if their interests so dictate. As for Hungary, Róna contends that the coronavirus recovery funds will enrich pro-government oligarchs alone.

Magyar Nemzet’s Zoltán Kottász writes that once the Article 7 proceedings are concluded, it will be impossible to accuse the Hungarian government of disregarding basic democratic norms and the rule of law. The pro-government analyst appreciates that although PM Orbán considers the Hungarian economy strong enough to prevail without additional recovery funding, he nonetheless approved the deal.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry contends that the deal is a wise and pragmatic compromise that is acceptable for all EU member states. The conservative pundit interprets the agreement as a huge victory for Prime Minister Orbán and an utter defeat for his liberal critics, who have long accused the Hungarian government of violating basic democratic norms.

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