Thursday, 1 August 2013

DEMOCRACY IN HUNGARY

Foreign Policy Research Institute reports

What is the FPRI?
Founded in 1955, FPRI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization devoted to bringing to bear the insights of scholarship on the development of policies that advance U.S. national interests. We add perspective to events by fitting them into the larger historical and cultural context of international politics.
http://www.fpri.org/about
Today it publishes a report, by Alexandra Wiktorek Sarlo and Maia Otarashvili, called 'Can the EU rescue democracy in Hungary?'

From the question
The European Union always takes steps to ensure that a prospective member state meets certain criteria regarding democratic practices. But what happens when a state that meets those criteria is accepted into the EU, only to regress later on? That is the question that the EU faces with Hungary, once a democratic front-runner among the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, but now a country that has seen a palpable erosion of democracy. The Hungarian case raises questions about the EU’s current governance mechanisms, and whether it can handle further expansion effectively. How should the EU and the wider international community use their leverage to promote democratic practices in post-communist EU states? What role should the United States play?
http://www.fpri.org/articles/2013/07/can-eu-rescue-democracy-hungary
From the conclusions
The European response to Hungary’s direction starkly shows that there is no consensus on European democratic standards. While some European bodies investigate developments in Hungary and question its new constitution and policies, they are also plagued by conflicting political interests. But what happens when a state that meets those criteria is accepted into the EU, only to regress later on? That is the question that the EU faces with Hungary, once a democratic front-runner among the post-communist states of Central and Eastern Europe, but now a country that has seen a palpable erosion of democracy.
European leaders must take Hungary’s direction seriously, however, because the country serves as a “test case” showing other EU members, both new and old, what reaction awaits countries that violate democratic values or other major European principles...

The EU and related international organizations must tread carefully so as not to alienate Hungary and further encourage fears that the EU violates national sovereignty. At the same time, if Hungary succeeds in using sovereignty as a justification for passing laws that directly contradict important democratic and human rights principles that the EU supports, this may further undercut the concept of a truly democratic European Union.
The 2014 elections are the next opportunity for the Hungarian people to choose new leaders... Laws that restrict information from reaching the public or that manipulate voting districts will skew election results even if actual voting procedures pass as free and fair, technically speaking....

With this in mind, the United States should work actively with its European allies to counteract the democratic deterioration in Hungary through financial leverage, external pressure and talks with the Hungarian leadership. Failure to do so may result in the further spread of skepticism towards the West, a greater role for ethno-nationalist politics, and increased disregard for democratic principles in the newer EU states and the non-EU former Soviet states.
http://www.fpri.org/articles/2013/07/can-eu-rescue-democracy-hungary

And what has all this to do with Conductive Education? That is another very good question.


Reference

Sarlo, A. W., Otarashvili, M. (2013) Can the EU rescue democracy in Hungary? PhiladelphiaPA, Foreign Policy Research Institute, 1 August


No comments:

Post a Comment