The Age of Illiberal Presidencies

Democratic Security Monthly Foresight: July 2021

5 July 2021

Hungary and Slovenia take over the V4 and EU Council rotating presidencies, respectively, at a time when their divisive rhetoric will amplify fractures in the EU. The summit for the 3 Seas Initiative offers space for political and social cooperation in the region while encouraging investment from the continent and the US. 

Visegrad Insight this week:

  • Report on the 3SI published 5 July.
  • German Carboni analyses how EU and US sanctions on Belarus will force Minsk towards Moscow.
  • Matyas Mervay considers why Viktor Orbán pulled a 180-degree turn on Fidesz’s China policy and the opening it creates for the opposition.

EU/regional:

  • The Three Seas Summit and Business Forum will be held on 8-9 July. This year the forum will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria where presidents and high-level representatives from the twelve member states along with the three major partners, the United States, Germany and the European Union, will meet to discuss the partnership. After the summit, a joint statement will be released. The Greek Head of State has also been invited as a guest to the Summit. Read our Report on the 3SI 2025
  • Far-Right parties from 16 EU member states join forces with the declared objective of amplifying their opinions in the debate on the future of Europe. Notably, alongside Le Pen’s National Rally and Salvini’s Lega, there is Orbán’s Fidesz and Kaczyński’s PiS. It seems that the agreement includes criticisms of the Commission and the European Court of Justice, both institutions that have taken action against the governments in Hungary and Poland.
  • The European Commission has put forward a 2.3 billion euro economic and investment plan for Eastern Partnership countries. With the potential to mobilise up to 17 billion euros in public and private investments, the proposed plan will include ‘support for a future democratic Belarus,’ says Commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.

Hungary’s V4 Presidency

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