20 Jan 2012

Comment: Late! Not Too Late!

Already during the Hungarian Presidency, progressives called on the EU institutions to intervene and remind the Hungarian government that Europe is based on values and the respect of the Charter of Fundamental Rights. Unfortunately as the interventions remained soft spoken, the government continued to deny fundamental civic and human rights and opened a door for nationalistic, and even fascist movements, anti-Semitism and discrimination against minorities.

The list of violations is long. It was only when the Hungarian government violated the independence of the Hungarian Central Bank that the reaction from the EU became firmer. On Wednesday, progressive EU parliamentarians reminded Victor Orban that he is guiding Hungary outside of Europe and that it is strange to see him, a man who fought against communism, leading Hungary along the anti-democratic pathway of an authoritarian regime.

The last weeks have showed that progressives in Hungary are standing up again and that a democratic coalition is emerging. It will be vital to continue helping Hungarian progressive civil society to emerge, to organise and build partnerships. As Zita Gurmai, Hungarian MEP and friend of SOLIDAR said: "We, as socialists, as feminists, as Euro-enthusiasts, will not accept this authoritarian regime in the heart of Europe. We are ready to fight back for the Republic of Hungary". This is not only a Hungarian affair, it is the call for solidarity and action!

Conny Reuter, Secretary General

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