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Weeklies on the planned ‘Sovereignty Protection Bill’

November 20th, 2023

Although the exact content of the bill is unclear for the moment, commentators try to place it in the context of Hungary’s divergences with her Western allies.

Addressing representatives of the Hungarian diaspora last Thursday, Prime Minister Orbán said the next 10 to 15 years ‘will be about defending sovereignty’, not just in Hungary but in many other regions of the world as well. He expects the planned ‘sovereignty protection bill’ to trigger controversy, while deeming it necessary nevertheless to ‘establish clear prohibitions in order to prevent foreign money from influencing Hungarian elections’.

In Heti Világgazdaság, Árpád W. Tóta accuses the government of intending to protect its own sovereignty, rather than that of the nation. He pokes fun at the plan to set up a Sovereignty Protection Authority which in his view will only discover what we already know – namely that the most popular NGOs are supported by George Soros. Otherwise, he can only welcome the efforts of anyone, inside or outside Hungary, who devotes money to promote diversity. If that’s what foreign influence means, he says, he would definitely vote for it.

In his regular Magyar Hang column, sociologist András Lányi believes the government is siding with China and Russia rather than with its own Western allies. This is the conclusion he draws from the Prime Minister’s presence at the Belt and Road Initiative summit in Beijing earlier this autumn and his meetings with the presidents of China and Russia there (see BudaPost, October 21). He vituperates against the opposition for failing to bring people onto the streets in protest against the country ‘signing off from Europe after a thousand years’.

By contrast, Mandiner’s Milán Constantinovits warns that the European Union is ever more openly out to overwrite the sovereignty of member countries in political, financial, or legislative issues. Its representatives, he continues, withhold financial transfers destined for Hungary as a reprisal against the government’s opposition to the ‘self-destructive’ answers of Brussels to key strategic issues. He cites as examples mass immigration and the ‘huge wealth poured into the war between Russia and Ukraine’. He predicts that pressure from the European Union will increase in the future, as long as Hungary dares to follow its own convictions.

In Demokrata, Gábor Bencsik offers his own explanations for why Hungary is at loggerheads with the European Union. He lists among the causes what he calls the grave mistakes committed by Germany over the past few years. One was closing down nuclear power plants in the midst of an energy crisis, while another was hoping that masses of new immigrants would automatically become good Germans. The peoples of Western Europe, he writes, are rich, weak and decreasing in numbers, while the new arrivals are poor, strong and increasingly numerous. He wouldn’t be surprised to see ever more Europeans turning towards politicians who will try to stop ‘the population exchange’, but fears that it is already too late.


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