Waiting for a Civil Revolution

Can civil society help change politics for the better in the Central Europe?

21 June 2019

In Central and Eastern Europe, there seems to be much more narcissism than solidarity. But the region is not doomed to this fate if we can learn from the best practices of our neighbours and embrace change.

I have to tell in advance that I find the present Hungarian political environment fairly unique even in the context of the V4 countries.

In Hungary, the building of the illiberal state has been going on for 9 long years. The changes, which were first and foremost institutional, and based on the unhinged power of Fidesz’s first constitutional majority after the 2010 elections, have since deeply transformed the country’s political life, and this transformation is deeper than in any other V4 country.

Though in Poland the governing forces share the same ideology and aspirations of control with their Hungarian counterparts, neither were the institutions demolished to such an extent, nor was the political opposition reduced to an ornament of the new system – as the results of the local elections in October 2018 clearly demonstrate.

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Endre Bojtár

Hungarian journalist and translator. Editor-in-chief of Magyar Narancs weekly.

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