Orban: Hungary is island in the European progressive liberal ocean

Orban: Hungary is island in the European progressive liberal ocean
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses CPAC in Budapest. / bne IntelliNews
By Tamas Csonka in Budapest April 26, 2024

Hungary is an independent conservative island in the European progressive liberal ocean, it is a constitutional state where everyone can freely express their opinion, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban told attendees of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), which is taking place in Hungary on April 25-26.

For the third consecutive year, Budapest is hosting a gathering of radical right-wing politicians and pundits. 

The participants include Dutch politician Geert Wilders (PVV), Santiago Abascal, Chairman of the Spanish party VOX, former Slovenian prime minister Janez Jansa and a number of Trumpist Republicans.

The accreditation of many foreign and local media outlets was rejected, and they were encouraged instead to follow the event via a live stream. Organisers informed journalists that the conference is a "no woke zone," and that coverage would be possible at "future events when and if your organisation becomes significantly less woke".

The conference was organised by the state-funded organization Center for Fundamental Rights. Its head Miklos Szantho, in his opening address, said the aim of CPAC Hungary is no less than to organise a global coalition of anti-globalist forces.

He said the conference in 2023 had been about deepening cooperation on the right, and this year was about “springing into action”. “We must drain the swamp in Brussels in June and in Washington in November,” he added.

An inglorious period of Western civilisation could be brought to an end this year, by replacing the world built on progressive-liberal hegemony with a sovereignist one, Orban said after taking the stage.

According to Hungary’s strongman, the progressive-liberal world order had failed as it had only brought about wars and discord, economic collapse and chaos. The leaders emerging from that world order were "unfit for the task, heap error upon error, and end up walking into their doom", he said.

The liberals are already sensing the danger and a change could mean their downfall, which is why they are doing everything to maintain power. As in 2019, Hungary’s nationalist leader is hoping for a breakthrough of radical right-wing parties at the EP elections and the victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump in November's US presidential election.

Orban accused liberal progressive" governments of employing tactics many of his critics say he had used himself to silence critics,

They use government agencies against us, or as my American friends would say, "weaponize state institutions".  

"This happens to us Hungarians constantly in Brussels. This is what is happening to President Trump in America, and we encourage him to fight for his own truth not only in the elections but also in the courts."

In contrast to the liberal progressive world, supported by US financier George Soros’s open society, the sovereigntist world order will construct a "protected society", protecting the borders, and families.

The prime minister struck an optimistic tone, telling CPAC attendees: "Make America great again, make Europe great again! Go Donald Trump, go European sovereigntists!"

"Let's saddle up, put on our armour, head to the battlefield and begin the election battle!" he said.

On the first day of the conference, Orban held talks on the event's sidelines with Janza and former Australian premier Tony Abbott. The prime minister hosted a gala reception for 80 special foreign guests later in the evening.

In his speech, Jansa said there is no sovereignty without border control. The open border policy of the liberal-left aims to dismantle Western civilisations.

Numerous speakers at CPAC voiced their support for combating woke ideology, antisemitism, and "illegal" immigration. Tom van Grieken, leader of the Belgian Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), commended Hungary's commitment to freedom of speech and strongly condemned the recent shutdown of the National Conservatism Conference (NatCon) in Brussels.

The Belgian politician said Hungary is the centre of conservative resistance. Amihai Sikli, Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs, praised the flourishing relations between the two countries, emphasising that the Hungarian government is one of Israel's biggest supporters. He praised Budapest as "one of the safest capitals in Europe for Jews" and praised Hungary's "zero tolerance" on antisemitism.