Hungary’s prime minister a champion for illiberalism

2014. augusztus 7. 14:53

Harold Meyerson
The Washington Post

If Europe can’t defend democracy within its own borders, what, exactly, is its purpose?

„Putin’s Western cheerleaders — not just Orbán but the nationalist parties of Europe — condemn the United States and Western Europe for their tolerance of immigrants and gays. But they’ve gained traction chiefly because of the economic stagnation that beleaguers the non-German West. Condemning Orbán, or France’s Marine Le Pen, Britain’s Nigel Farage or the tea party, is all well and good, but relegating these leaders and forces to the sewer from which they slithered requires more than just an affirmation of tolerance. It requires ambitious, affirmative policies to create more inclusive economies — raising wages, promoting domestic investment and rebalancing the governing structures of corporations. A growing anxiety and pessimism is evident in every major Western nation save, again, Germany. Unless the West can meet the challenges of the global economy as well as Germany can, the illiberalism that Orbán champions will only advance.

Europe has an even more immediate challenge as well. In his talk, Orbán asserted that there’s nothing incompatible about illiberalism — which, based on his own actions, means suppressing an independent judiciary and civil society — and belonging to the E.U. Creating and observing democratic laws and norms, however, is a prerequisite for E.U. membership. Why shouldn’t dismantling such laws and norms be grounds for expulsion? If Europe can’t defend democracy within its own borders, what, exactly, is its purpose?”

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