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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The EU's nerve-wracking disconnect on surveillance

Each time an EU government is confronted with a threat to security, it nearly always plunges into knee-jerk reactions at the risk of undermining the very freedoms its officials claim to protect.

The ‘shadow play’ of Budapest

In the summer months, Europe starts to migrate. Tourist hordes invade the cities that used to be our home. What have become of our towns? When and how did they become virtual and unbearably cool?

“Do you agree?” Orbán’s dangerous waltz with the radical right

A sentiment shared by many Hungarians worried about the government’s xenophobic campaign is summarized by the poster that says,  “Sorry about our Prime Minister.”    

Orbán, Seehofer and the anti-immigration link

Why are the leaders of Hungary and Bavaria meeting up for talks in a German monastery?

The meaning of the refugee crisis

"One is reminded of the beautiful summer days of 1944, when tens of thousands of Jews were forcibly marched to their deaths through the streets of Budapest." Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian and Czech.

Right-Wing soft power, the refugee crisis and Europe’s failure

The fact that Syriza was crucified more often and with more intensity than Viktor Orbán speaks volumes in itself. It is just that most people do not want to listen.

Looking through the fence: Hungary's refugee psyche

The Hungarian reaction to the refugee crisis has caused a media storm. But before we join in the castigation, let's try and understand the reasons behind Hungary's actions.

The refugee crisis: demilitarising masculinities

Photos emerging from the borders of Europe weave a new narrative around what it means to be vulnerable, to be a man, to say no to war and to be a refugee.

Refugee crisis in Europe: remember Latin America

This is not only a European crisis but a global one, and it should be approached as such, involving nations throughout the world in its solution. As it did in the past, Latin America can give a hand. Português. Español

Crisis de refugiados en Europa. Recordad América Latina.

Esta crisis no es sólo europea, sino global. Debemos tratarla como tal, involucrando a naciones de todo el mundo en su solución. Como hiciera en el pasado, América Latina puede ayudar. English. Português.

Crise de refugiados na Europa: recordando a América Latina

Esta não é apenas uma crise Europeia, mas global, e que deve ser abordada como tal, envolvendo as nações de todo o mundo na sua solução. À semelhança do que fez no passado, a América Latina pode contribuir. English, Español

Fighting the wrong battle: Central Europe’s crisis is one of liberal democracy, not migration

The hostile response of central and eastern European heads of states to the prospect of accepting Syrian refugees is emblematic of a wider problem of democracy and liberalism in these countries.

"The fence must go!" - reflections on the meaning of Europe's most recent fortifications in Hungary

25 years ago, a fence in Hungary made history. Today a new fence in the country is also making history - but for entirely different reasons.

Hungary’s refugee policy: fencing off the country

The rapidly increasing influx of asylum-seekers poses a huge challenge to Hungary. The government responds with a complete lack of solidarity, massive demagoguery and arm-twisting in Brussels. 

Hungary's future: anti-immigration, anti-multiculturalism and anti-Roma?

Hungary’s prime minister believes Hungary cannot cope with immigration as it has no experience of ‘multiculturalism’ - but Hungary must face up to its past and its future as a diverse nation.

“We are not anti-Greeks”: the need for a return of solidarity to eastern Europe

“Greece hasn’t even dreamt about what Slovakia had to go through, what does it mean to carry out real reforms and have real privatization.”  - Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia.

Europe’s migration crisis: central Europe’s dangerous game

Should a serious migration crisis erupt as a result of conflict escalation in Ukraine, the odds are that the V4 would need assistance through exactly the kind of EU solidarity mechanism they now oppose.

Viktor Orban and the rise of the populist right...right?

Viktor Orban, like European populists in general, is neither of the right nor the left. He is a child of both.

"It takes broken bones": authoritarianism and violence against women in Hungary

Right-wing discourse in Hungarian politics is matched by the government’s regressive handling of gender issues, as structural violence against the socially marginalised interplays with violence against women.

Hungary: ruling in the guise of democracy

After 1989, within two decades, the hitherto ‘dormant’ authoritarian, leader-worshipping, order-obsessed right-wing mentality has gradually found its way to the surface. Its institutional shape is precisely impossible to define.

When the European moral vacuum meets Hungary’s autocratic regime

Hungary is obviously moving towards autocracy. But we have to ask ourselves two questions. Would it be useful for the EU to introduce measures against a country with democratic problems? Secondly, is Europe in the moral, political and economic state to be able to act? Both questions require thorough deliberation. 

How Hungary can be led back to the path of liberal democracy

What has led Hungary down the path of an 'illiberal democracy', and how can a potential crisis within the EU be averted?

Hungary's Fidesz and its 'Jewish Question'

Hungary’s Fidesz government may not have pursued a state-sponsored policy of anti-Semitism. However, it has indulged in outrageous historical revisionism; failed to censure anti-Semitism from high within its own ranks; and screwed up its official commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Holocaust in Hungary.

Brave new Hungary

Fidesz does not have any coherent ideology, but depending on the context, employs elements of various currents, mixing neo-conservative tropes (God, Patria, Family) with anti-globalization arguments (anti-corporation, anti-finance), classic populist slogans with anti-EU and anti-minority refrains echoed by extreme right groups.

On Roma murders in Hungary

Why did the police not take the investigation seriously at first? Why did the political elite need six victims to admit that these people were murdered because of their Roma identity, to acknowledge the neo-Nazi terrorist nature of their acts?

More Hungarys in eastern Europe?

Viktor Orbán is a perfect populist who exploits the chameleon nature of populism like no other, from radical liberalism to his new 'illiberal state'. Worryingly his bravado is becoming a source of inspiration for many other European politicians. But what is he after?

Hungarian despotism: Europe must act

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has openly vowed to turn the country into an ‘illiberal state’. Europe cannot let this happen.

Slow and steady: Hungary’s media clampdown

The Hungarian prime minister, Viktor Orban, sent a frisson across the EU with his boast last weekend that he is building a “non-liberal” state, like in China, Russia or Turkey, free of “western European dogma”—but then his steady destruction of liberty in Hungary has gone largely unchallenged.

Struggle, dissent and debate: politics and memory in Europe

Especially in some European countries, dealing with the dark sides of one’s history has become a significant topos. Without such a change in cultures of commemoration of the different European countries, a European Union would have been impossible.

Judgment in Hungary

In 2008 and 2009, a group of Hungarian right-wing extremists committed a series of vicious attacks on members of the Roma community. Six people were killed, including a five year old boy. Film review.

Demand homes not jails: queer homelessness is being criminalized

Cities globally are starting to criminalize homelessness: banning begging and making free food provision illegal. I work within LGBTQ communities, whose multiple oppressions lead to a high level of homelessness. When I see police disrupting rough sleepers, I remember their life stories.

The paradox of ethnic homogeneity - a Hungarian example

Hungarian nationalists have been trying to promote the idea that we are an "ethnically homogenous" people - an idea that is patently absurd!

A new (order) Ukraine? Assessing the relevance of Ukraine’s far right in an EU perspective

Now that the EU is ready to embrace the new Ukrainian government, investing at least one billion euros in the ‘revolutionized’ country, it is time to reinvestigate the question of far right influence in Ukraine.

As a Roma, integration means something different to me

A response to the recent statements by Ms. Viviane Reding, European Commissioner, on the situation of Roma and the need from their side to integrate and to have a normal way of living. Read more from our You Tell Us bloggers.

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