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Hungary missing from Biden’s ’Summit for Democracy’

April 1st, 2023

A liberal analyst sees Hungary’s frequent digressions from joint western geopolitical initiatives as the main reason why it was not invited (for the second time, after 2021) to the virtual ‘Summit for Democracy’ chaired by US President Joe Biden.

On Telex, Gergely Tóth reports that the US Ambassador to Budapest voiced concerns about the government’s commitment to democratic values as the main reason why Hungary was not invited to the summit. Talking to a selected group of journalists, Mr Pressman reacted to a statement by Foreign Minister Péter Szíjjártó who said Hungary was not invited because the Biden administration doesn’t invite former President Donald Trump’s friends. The Hungarian government, he added, shares Mr Trump’s views on illegal immigration and gender issues. The Ambassador disagreed and mentioned, as an example of ‘democratic deficit’ the various forms of emergencies that enable the government to legislate without involving Parliament for the past 2547 days. (Tóth adds that such powers are only in force since the start of the pandemic, as the previously decreed mass migration emergency only enables the government to seize properties and expedite building procedures. He also mentions that given its two-thirds majority in Parliament, the government can easily put through any legislation it wishes.)

On Hirklikk, foreign policy analyst Miklós Dérer believes the consecutive emergency acts were only brought up by the US ambassador in passing. The main reason, he suggests, is to be found in the steadily deteriorating relations between the two governments. Hungary, he remarks, was the only country within the western community not to approve the global minimum tax proposed by the US administration. The use of a veto, Dérer explains, is too harsh a method to manage disagreements among allies. He fears Hungary is squandering the reputation it gained with the 1956 revolution.

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