Backsliding democracy: Zsuzsanna Szelenyi on Hungary

What would the freezing of EU-funds mean for Hungary-EU relations and Hungary’s role in the union?

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The European Council is considering freezing €7.5 billion in funds allocated to Hungary due to concerns about rule of law violations. Meanwhile, prime minister Viktor Orban has embarked on a controversial “national consultation” concerning EU sanctions against Russia, increasingly isolating Hungary among member states.

In this week’s podcast, Mark Leonard is joined by Zsuzsanna Szelenyi, a Hungarian politician and foreign policy specialist, to discuss the situation in the country. What would the freezing of EU-funds mean for Hungary-EU relations and Hungary’s role in the union? What new alliances is Orban trying to foster among other illiberal governments in Europe? And finally, how could Hungary’s confrontational approach to Brussels shape European foreign policy when it comes to Russia, and even China?

This podcast was recorded on 7 December 2022.

Further reading:

Mind the gaps: The pending suspension of Hungary’s EU funds” by Zsuzsanna Végh


Cover image:
Hungarian Parliament Building Silhouette

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