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The EU plays multiple ambiguous roles in this.
  • The Commission did strongly criticise some key legal changes 15 months ago, and threatened to launch infringement proceedings. This did force Fidesz into significant concessions, in particular regarding the central bank, which seemed to be the priority of the Commission. But then that was it. It may start again, though, after this (also here).
  • The EP is louder on the issue, but powerless. Still, their calls for getting serious with infringement proceedings, ultimately leading to the suspension of EU payouts to Hungary, may be heeded. In the EP, previously, the EPP tried to sabotage a wider criticism of Orbán's policies. However, now that conservative governments are miffed, too, EPP MEPs may change tune, too.
  • In Fidesz's propaganda, while general Euroscepticism and cursing at 'commands from Brussels' did appear, up until now, every effort was made to paint all criticism from the EU as an ideologically motivated leftist campaign, ignoring that some of the harshest critics, namely Commissioners Neelie Kroes and Viviane Reding, weren't leftist. But now even Merkel voiced (muted) criticism and Reding is louder than Martin Schulz, thus this fantasy can't be maintained for much longer.
  • On the other hand, whatever the EU will do will be too late too little and no substitute for active domestic opposition. Among supporters of the current democratic opposition, I sense a widespread illusory hope that 'the EU' will eventually step in and put an end to this. But you just have to look at Greece to measure Commission and Council commitment to democracy.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue Mar 19th, 2013 at 07:12:44 PM EST
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