Chaotic Hypocrisy

Hungary and Poland are facing a strong criticism from the United Nations, the European Parliament and the European Council

18 May 2017

Wojciech Przybylski


Populist foreign and domestic policy may finally face a strong rebuttal. But more needs to be done inside those countries in order to contain the political cancer.


A national foreign policy depends on the sovereign executive leadership of any given country. It is not shaped by bureaucracy or strategic documents but rather moulded predominantly by the person actually in control of a political destiny of a given political entity – Viktor Orban in the case of Hungary and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, in the case of Poland. Those individuals have the ultimate control over what is defined as a threat in their international environment and how they should respond to them. The very act of disagreement with those interpretations is considered by them as a political challenge evoking the simplistic friend-or-foe dichotomy. This is how a populist eludes to a seemingly all-encompassing open society paradigm.

The essence of a populist foreign policy has been captured by Viktor Orban during his speech at a meeting of the V4 prime ministers in Warsaw on March 28th, 2017. Speaking to a crowd at the CEE Innovators Summit, he described himself as a political innovator – meaning someone who can question the status quo and attain political goals in a much more efficient manner than traditional ways. He must have meant a disruptive innovator.


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Wojciech Przybylski


Political analyst heading Visegrad Insight's policy foresight on European affairs. His expertise includes foreign policy and political culture. Editor-in-Chief of Visegrad Insight and President of the Res Publica Foundation. Europe's Future Fellow at IWM - Institute of Human Sciences in Vienna and Erste Foundation. Wojciech also co-authored a book 'Understanding Central Europe’, Routledge 2017. He has been published in Foreign Policy, Politico Europe, Journal of Democracy, EUObserver, Project Syndicate, VoxEurop, Hospodarske noviny, Internazionale, Zeit, Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, Onet, Gazeta Wyborcza and regularly appears in BBC, Al Jazeera Europe, Euronews, TRT World, TVN24, TOK FM, Swedish Radio and others.


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