Viktor Orbán successfully held on to power in Hungary. The aspired regime change did not come to fruition. Nonetheless, the united opposition’s campaign was not in vain. It unmistakably elucidated illiberal state practices which provide us with valuable insights into political strategies, narratives, and messaging. What lessons can European progressives take away for future alliances?
On 3 April 2022, Hungary is set for an election. Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz party eye another term in power with yet unforeseen consequences for the country’s rule of law and democratic institutions. A unique alliance of conservatives, social democrats, liberals, greens, and nationalists under the leadership of Péter Márki-Zay has campaigned to create momentum for political change. Will this exceptional big tent coalition campaign be a model for future elections? Did Márki-Zay manage to overcome smear campaigns targeting critical voices, moral panic around LGBTQ+ issues and media bias in favour of the ruling party? And on everyone’s mind: was the Russian invasion of Ukraine a game-changer, and if so – in whose favour?
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Together with our panelists, we will look at the election result in Hungary and the impact it may have on the EU as well as the European progressive family.
We will discuss these questions and more with:
Klára Dobrev is a Member of the European Parliament (S&D Group). She is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs as well as the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Association Committee. In 2021, she took part in the Hungarian opposition primary and played a pivotal role in building the united opposition against Victor Orbán in the 2022 Hungarian elections.
Anikó Gregor is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences of the Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. There, she teaches courses in the fields of quantitative and qualitative research methodology and the sociology of gender relations. One of her most recent publications was a report on the pre-election situation in Hungary, published in the Progressive Yearbook 2022 by FEPS.
Maria Skóra is policy fellow at Das Progressive Zentrum in Berlin. Previously, she was in charge of the International Dialogue programme at Das Progressive Zentrum and worked for the HUMBOLDT-VIADRINA Governance Platform as Programme Director of the European Growth Initiative. Prior to arriving in Germany, she lived in Warsaw, dividing her professional career between academia as a lecturer and the Polish Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
We will begin the event with opening remarks by László Andor, Secretary General of the Foundation For European Progressive Studies.
Time: 09.00 – 10.00 AM (CEST)
09.00 AM – Welcome: Dominic Schwickert, Director, Das Progressive Zentrum
09.02 AM – Opening remarks: László Andor, Secretary General, FEPS
09.05 AM – Political insight: Klára Dobrev, MEP, S&D Group
09.20 AM – Expert response: Anikó Gregor, Assistant Professor, ELTE
09.30 AM – Q&A with the audience: Moderated by Maria Skóra, Policy Fellow, Das Progressive Zentrum
09.50 AM – Closing remarks: Klára Dobrev and Anikó Gregor
10.00 AM – End of the event
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