The thesis presents a deductive empirical study of the current political situation in Hungary. In 2010 the national conservative party, Fidesz, won a landslide victory in Hungary, which resulted in a 2/3 majority in Parliament, and with it, an almost unlimited power. The government changed the constitution single-handedly, without holding a referendum and without consulting other bodies of the parliamentary system that are meant to uphold checks and balances in a democracy. The speed with which the constitution was passed and the doubtful content, which have already been amended 5 times so far, have made international society worry about the political situation in the country. Furthermore new legislation curbs the competences of the Constitutional Court, and the pluralism of independent media is being threatened. The aim of the thesis is to confirm or dismiss the claim of the hypothesis, which states that the current political situation in Hungary conflicts with basic European values such as democracy, human rights and rule of law. Also it seeks to explain what the EU could do in such a situation where European values are at stake from within. The study is based on the theoretical framework of Møller & Skaaning’s comparative transitional theory on deep and close structural elements as a means to explain the likelihood of a former communist country to develop democracy. Also Vachudova’s theory on the passive and active leverage of the EU is an important part of this analysis. The EU can take credit for a lot of reforms happening up until 2004, but since then, the EU has lost its impact, and it is a democratic problem that the Union does not have any enforcement measures when it comes to member states. Methodically the thesis is divided into two parts. Whereas the first part aims to set stage for Hungary’s historical heritage, which is used to understand what factors have made an impact on the political situation today, the second part analyses the current legislation, which has received a lot of criticism from international organizations, among others the EU, the COE and the OSCE. The thesis argues that even though Hungary, according to the theory of Møller & Skaaning, has many elements that promote democracy, the country also have an autocratic legacy that might still leave traces in the political culture today. In conclusion it can therefore not be said that Hungary has turned into an illiberal state, but neither can it be said that it is a consolidated Western form of liberal democracy. Hungary is still a very young democracy, and the current political situation is questionable in relation to basic democratic values, and Hungary needs guidance to promote the liberal values that lies in its heritage.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||76|