Pillars of the Future

BUDAPEST/BERLIN | | ungarn

BUDAPEST/BERLIN (Own report) - Hungary is applying German methods in ethnic chauvinist policy, granting Hungarian citizenship to hundreds of thousands of citizens of neighboring countries. The new Hungarian citizenship law, which took effect at the beginning of this year, is the means being applied. Citizens of bordering nations can apply for and receive a Hungarian passport, if they can prove they are Hungarian descendents. This is patterned after Germany's method used to grant German citizenship to "ethnic Germans" of Poland and the Czech Republic. The citizenship law, which has now taken effect in Hungary, is part of the government's complete reorientation of the country, soon to include the ratification of a new constitution, making ethnic chauvinist principles the basis of Budapest's policies for the coming decades. An aspect of this transformation is the controversial media law, designed for the long term suppression of all opposition to ethnic chauvinist policies. The governing Fidesz Party has friendly ties to Germany's Christian Democratic parties (CDU and CSU), receiving preferential treatment from German party foundations and drawing on decades of tight-knit German-Hungarian cooperation. The party's success is a demonstration of how, in the long run, ethnic chauvinist politics will achieve a breakthrough in a Germany-dominated and ethnic chauvinist oriented Europe.

Hungarians Abroad

With the new Hungarian citizenship law taking effect, Hungarian passports began to be issued on Monday to the up to 2.5 million so-called Hungarians abroad. There are Hungarian minorities still living today in the regions that had been Hungarian territory ceded by the aggressor power in the aftermath of World War I. In Romania there are about 1.5 Million ethnic Hungarians, in Slovakia - more than 500,000, in Serbia (Vojvodina) - 300,000, in the Ukraine - 160,000, in Austria - 45,000 and in Croatia and Slovenia - 15,000 each.[1] They can now obtain Hungarian citizenship, within 4 - 5 months in expedited proceedings. The rush is said to be "very, very intense", according, for example to the Hungarian consulate in Cluj Napoca (Romania). Budapest is expecting to furnish up to 400,000 new identity papers in 2011. Budapest's claim on foreign citizens, who for example in Slovakia comprise about one-tenth of the national population and is meeting resistance, is exactly patterned along the lines of German ethnic chauvinist policy. In the 1990s, Germany began already to declare hundreds of thousands of Polish and tens of thousands of Czech "ethnic Germans" to be citizens of the Federal Republic of Germany.[2] Whoever would criticize these new citizenship laws, gets the response that the "criticism is unfounded, Germany had done the same."

Wave of Purges

A look at, for example, Hungarian cultural life, shows that issuing passports to "Hungarians Abroad" is no isolated measure, but rather an aspect of the prevailing ethnic chauvinist atmosphere in Hungary itself. Just a few weeks ago a scandal flared up in Budapest over the Romanian Ambassador's request to rent Budapest's National Theater for a reception commemorating his country's national holiday. The governing Fidesz Party attacked the ambassador. It is intolerable for the Romanian state to hold a celebration in the Hungarian National Theater, because “even today, the majority of the Hungarian nation is suffering a deep trauma” because a sector of the former Hungarian Kingdom (“Transylvania”) still belongs to Romania. The director of the Theater, who had already granted permission to use the premises, had to disinvite Romania’s ambassador. Observers speculate that he may soon lose his job because of his original commitment to grant the lease.[3] Earlier, a whole array of cultural artists and scholars have suffered such fates, for example the artistic director of the Hungarian State Opera because he wanted to have a nationally significant work be directed by an Italian, or several oppositional philosophers at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Critics are referring to a "wave of purges" in Hungarian cultural and academic life.[4]

The Holy Hungarian Crown

The key element of the Fidesz Party's current policy is the ratification of a new constitution on a symbolic date, Easter Monday 2011. Centered on "Hungariandom", this constitution will elevate ethnic chauvinist principles to become the basis of Hungarian policy for the coming decades. According to reports, it will explicitly make reference to the "Holy Hungarian Crown" of the medieval kingdom, declaring it the "symbol of the continuity of the Hungarian state."[5] This is understood as a "programmatic invocation of the old greater Hungarian Empire," which also included all regions inhabited by "Hungarians Abroad". "Hungariandom" and the rejection of opinions and persons in opposition to ethnic chauvinism as a guiding principle are also becoming central principles for Hungarian domestic policy. This can be seen by the new Hungarian media law, which has come under strong criticism also internationally. This law, de facto, will place the media under state censorship therefore basically allowing the exclusion of every expression of opposition.

Close Partners

The Fidesz Party, which is promoting this development under Prime Minister Victor Orbán, has a flourishing cooperation with the Germany's Christian Democratic Parties (CDU and CSU). Fidesz is a member of the European People's Party (EPP), dominated by the CDU and CSU, and has one of the EPP'S vice presidential positions. In Mai 2009, when he was still leading the opposition, Fidesz-Chief Orbán met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss and coordinate plans for eventually taking power in Budapest. Fidesz and the Fidesz affiliated Foundation for a Civic Hungary (Polgári Magyarországért Alapítvány, PMA) are partners of the CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which had been vital in the founding of PMA, following Fidesz' temporary loss of power in 2002. As the governing party, Fidesz can rely on the long-term German-Hungarian cooperation, which includes not only the ethnic chauvinist ("Hungarians Abroad") policy but also the "Danube Strategy", for the Southeast expansion along the Danube. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[6]) Hungary has always been closely cooperating with Berlin's European policy. In view of Hungary's EU Council Presidency, this cooperation was intensified. Hungary's foreign minister underlined that he will "support everything that serves Germany."[7]

A New System

Hungarian critics are accusing the German government as well as other leaders of EU member countries of hypocrisy in their indignation over the new Hungarian media law, being aimed at public opinion. One needs no intimate knowledge, based on long-term cooperation, to have recognized the character of the Hungarian policy. It became clear on June 16, 2010, at the latest, when the Hungarian parliament, with its Fidesz two-thirds majority, adopted the "Proclamation of National Cooperation", which praises the Fidesz election victory as a "revolution" and the dawn of a completely new era. "With this historic act" Hungarians voted for a new system, "the system of national cooperation." With an ill-conceived appeal to authoritarian rule, the document declares that "work, home, family, health, and law and order are the pillars of our common future." [8]

Under German Hegemony

Berlin's close cooperation partner has, in the meantime, largely suspended the Hungarian Constitutional Court's supervisory power, appointed a chief public prosecutor loyal to the party and a president loyal to the prime minister, initiated purges in the cultural and academic sectors and promoted an ethnic chauvinist configuration of Hungary. The restriction of the right to strike is planned as a next step. According to critics, "the media law is only a preliminary icing on the cake."[9] It is part of a comprehensive ethnic chauvinist reorientation of the Hungarian state, pushed ahead at all costs and obviously finding favorable conditions in a Europe that is dominated by Germany and German ethnic chauvinist policy.

For information concerning the German-Hungarian relationship, see also: A Special Relationship, The German Ethnic Model (I), Ethnic Loyalty, Berlin's Poison-Pen Letter, The Danube Strategy, The New Era of Ethnic Chauvinists, Everything that Serves Germany and National Cooperation.

[1] Große Nachfrage nach dem ungarischen Pass; diepresse.com 04.01.2010
[2] see also Völkisch radikalisiert
[3] Ungarn vs. Rumänien: eine Tragikomödie in vier Akten; www.pesterlloyd.net 22.11.2010
[4] "Säuberungen" an der Ungarischen Akademie der Wissenschaften; www.pesterlloyd.net 30.11.2010
[5] Gregor Mayer: Schmutzige Kämpfe; www.profil.at 31.12.2010
[6] s. dazu The Danube Strategy and Mama Duna
[7] s. dazu Everything that Serves Germany
[8] s. dazu National Cooperation