European Council's Charles Michel sat down with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to ease escalating tensions. Orban, known for his close ties to the Kremlin, is threatening to block crucial decisions at the upcoming EU summit, including aid to Ukraine and its bid to join the EU.
Orban and Brussels have clashed over various issues, spanning migration, judicial reforms, LGBTQ rights, and Ukraine. His aggressive Eurosceptic campaign is taking aim at EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Opinions vary on Orban's stance towards Ukraine.
Some see it as a tactic to unlock frozen EU funds, while others view it as a way to rally voters against 'Brussels bureaucrats' ahead of the European Parliament elections in June. Despite Brussels approving a 900 million euro advance for Hungary's pandemic recovery, the majority of funds remain withheld due to Hungary's violations of EU rules, including the freezing of 22 billion euros in cohesion funds.
Viktor Orban and EU policies
Orban emphasized that Hungary will fiercely resist EU policies, claiming they will lead to Europe's downfall. He's also taken a firmer stance on LGBTQ issues under pressure from the far-right party Naša domovina.
Previously, Orban targeted Von der Leyen's predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, portraying EU leaders as puppets of George Soros. This narrative continues with allegations of their connections to Soros's son, Aleks, because of their support for human rights NGOs.
Viktor Orban continues where he left off. His policy causes a large number of reactions, and it is really difficult to predict what Orban's intentions are. At certain moments, it seems that he will make radical moves, while at other times his statements seem unconvincing.
Time will best show what Orban's intentions are, and whether he can really succeed in achieving his goals. Europe and the world are in a period of transformation, in which the policies of many countries are changing rapidly.