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    European Commission cautious on elections in Hungary

    © European Union
    © European Union

    The parliamentary elections in Hungary on Sunday resulted in an overwhelming victory for Prime Minister Victor Orban and his Fidesz party which received 49 % of the votes and 67 % of the seats in the Parliament. Its majority will allow it to pass changes to the constitution and enact “illiberal” legislation on its agenda. The second biggest party was the far-right Jobbik party which received 19 % of the votes.

    Contributing to the victory of Fidesz was a positive economic development with low official unemployment figures. Despite Orban’s Eurosceptic policy, Hungary is receiving billions in EU funding which reportedly amounts to 4 % of its GDP.

    Fidesz belongs to the same political party group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP), as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

    Asked about the election results at today’s press conference in Brussels, the Commission’s chief spokesperson said that Juncker will congratulate Orban to his victory and call him tomorrow to discuss issues of common interests.

    The spokesperson declined to comment on the election results besides stating that it is a common duty for all EU member states to defend democracy and European values.

    He added that there is no EU position yet on the issue of linking EU funding to compliance with European values on democracy and the rule of law but that a decision will be taken for the post-2020 multiannual financial framework.

    During Orban’s reign since 2010, Hungary has been transformed into what he calls an “illiberal democracy” but which according to critics has become an authoritarian political system where the pillars of democracy such as a free press, academic freedom, civil society and respect of minority rights have been suppressed or threatened.

    The Brussels Times