Orban: Unknown or key figure in the upcoming European elections?

  Articoli (Articles)
  Tiziano Sini
  20 May 2024
  3 minutes, 13 seconds

Translated by Andrea Solazzo

Although the campaign for the European elections on 8 and 9 June 2024 seems to have started softly, many ideas are emerging with the arrival of the election deadline. This is no coincidence, given the current geopolitical configuration, which is conditioned by complex and rather confusing set-ups. This is symptom of a period of transition that is affecting the political and institutional systems, at various levels, in the European landscape.

The political picture appears even more intricate and worrying if one analyses it through the perspective of the challenges that are not only trying sorely the system but will probably also condition its future with more dramatic orders. The strategies to face them will have to be planned by the new political class that will emerge from the upcoming elections.

The image that describes this election round is a context full of unknowns, one of the biggest of which is the controversial Hungarian leader, Viktor Orban.

It is nothing new that the name of Orban and his Fidesz party are associated with an anti-establishment and Eurosceptic view. However, after the internal split of the Visegrad front due to divergent positions on Ukraine, Orban has played the role of a real “thorn in the sideof the European institutions in several dossiers, acting almost alone.

As predicted, with the arrival of the election, the Hungarian president's attacks on the EU multiplied. Not least during the speech he gave last month in the National Museum of Bucharest, where Orban did not draw back from drawing a line between Hungary and the “Western world” - of which it still seems to be a part of - accusing the latter of having lost its roots and of being the cause of the system's destruction. Orban ended his speech with a rather cryptic phrase: "If we want to preserve Hungary's freedom and sovereignty, we have no choice: we have to occupy Brussels," with a reference to the upcoming European elections.

If this remains the purely communicative plan, beyond the electoral propaganda, the strategy that will be carried out by Fidesz, which is essential to define the party's positioning within the new European Parliament, remains to be deciphered. Many movements are already taking place, with approaches and negotiations between members of Orban's party and the ECR (European Conservatives and Reformists) Group currently led by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, especially through the former Polish President and leader of Law and Justice, Mateusz Morawiecki.

However, this is a very delicate choice, because on one hand it would bring a good number of votes to the political group, which is already growing; on the other hand, it would risk weakening the strategies led by the Italian Prime Minister, aimed at carving out a leading role in the discussion on the appointment of the future President of the Commission.

In the last few weeks relations seem to be intensifying between Fidesz, which has left the Group of European People's Party (EPP), and ID (Identity and Democracy), to which Salvini's League and Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National belong, currently kept at a distance from the top positions through a real "cordon sanitaire", especially for its Eurosceptic positions and proximity to Putin's Russia.

However, the game could also end after the outcome of the elections, so as to mitigate the vetoes that currently seem to weigh on potential alliances and that could lead, as is already predictable, to a shift of the political centre of gravity to the right.

Mondo Internazionale APS - Riproduzione Riservata ® 2024

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Tiziano Sini


European Elections 2024 Orban EU European Commission ECR ID Fidesz EuropeanParliament