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The Orbán system and, to a lesser extent, the PiS government in Poland, represent a major threat to the European Union.

Brexit was also aimed at EU by its proponents, but it didn't represent any threat; much the opposite: it helped cement the EU states unity - against the UK.

Orbán has managed to carve out a system within the EU, where he is holding all the powers, the media are under his control (or his cronies), the power to change the constitution, etc... He and his cronies have also amassed a considerable fortune, thanks to the unopposed political power and essentially having their hands on the EU money spigot. Not to mention his outspoken support for Putin and his characterization of the Ukrainian president as 'an opponent'.

All this on the EU taxpayers dime: Hungary, along with Poland is the biggest net receivers of the EU budget. The EU doesn't have any institutional mechanism to expel a misbehaving member: Article 50 can only be invoked by the member state itself, as we know,, but Orbán doesn't want to get off the gravy train. Article 7 allows to suspend certain rights from a member state, but it requires unanimity among the other members: as long as Poland can veto its application to Hungary and vice versa, this instrument is blocked.

There can be some other measures, such as blocking some funds like the EU recovery plan, but the application is going to be difficult. Meanwhile, Orbán has an enormous power of nuisance, since he can veto any EU decision requiring unanimity: this will certainly prevent some EU-wide measures to support Ukraine and sanction Russia.

Orbán didn't happen by himself: the EPP has turned a blind eye for way too long, benefiting from from the Fidesz MEP's addition to their headcount.

Countering Orbán is vital for the long term future of the EU .

by Bernard (bernard) on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 at 06:48:28 PM EST
There are ways around Orban. Firstly, Poland may not be quite so supportive now that it is close to  the frontline of Russian aggression.

Secondly, the EU can invoke a variable speed geometry whereby many EU initiatives are adopted voluntarily by supportive members without unanimous agreement. CF the Eurogroup of Finance Ministers.

Gradually to husk of the old EU containing non supportive members is allowed to die away and the new EU emerges with much tighter rules about democracy, convergence and cohesion. Guess who won't be allowed into the new club?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 at 09:28:38 PM EST
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Maybe the EU needs a strong central government?
by asdf on Mon Apr 4th, 2022 at 10:47:12 PM EST
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It may come to that, and it is certainly an aspiration for European integrationists, but the EU project is currently very far from that, with the member states guarding their national sovereignties jealously and only pooling very distinct competencies/areas of sovereignty. Only severe and direct external aggression could change that I suspect.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Apr 5th, 2022 at 04:09:58 PM EST
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