During the first two decades of Hungary’s post-communist history, the country was a young but stable democracy, and a role-model of successful transition from authoritarianism to democracy. Today, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been in power almost a decade, a period during which Hungary has undergone dramatic changes. After winning the elections of 2014, Orbán openly announced the dismantle of democracy. Four years later, and another win in the 2018 elections, constitutional and legal changes have allowed Orbán and his party Fidesz consolidated control over the country’s independent institutions.
The systematic dismantling of democracy has left Hungary in a state characterised by one-sided state propaganda and a complete lack of checks on power. Corruption and xenophobia are increasing in the country, and human rights defenders and government critics are subjected to hate campaigns and under threats of prosecution. A number of new laws have been adopted, many of which severely restricts freedom of association and expression, and limit human rights defenders legitimate activities.