Fidesz - Hungarian Citizens' Union

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Szövetség
Fidesz - Hungarian Citizens' Union
Fidesz logo
EPP Helsinki Congress in Finland, 7-8 November 2018 (45053728794) .jpg
Party leader Viktor Orbán
Deputy Chairman Gábor Kubatov
Katalin Novák
Gergely Gulyás
Szilárd Németh
founding March 30, 1988
Place of foundation Budapest , Hungary
Headquarters Lendvay utca 28.
1062 Budapest
Alignment Authoritarianism
Christian Democracy
National Conservatism
-Wing Populism EU Skepticism Economic Liberalism
Colours) orange
Parliament seats
International connections Christian Democratic International (CDI-IDC)
International Democratic Union (IDU)
European party European People's Party (EPP) (suspended)
EP Group Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) (EPP)

Fidesz - Hungarian Citizens ' Union , Fidesz [ ˈfidɛs ] for short or Fidesz-MPSZ ( Hungarian Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Szövetség ), is a political party in Hungary whose orientation is classified as national conservative or right-wing populist . It was originally founded as a liberal protest organization by young intellectuals and has later developed into the largest bourgeois party in the country. The party is a member of the European People's Party (EPP) and, due to its increasingly authoritarian and nationalist politics, is counted on the right wing of this European party. On March 20, 2019, Fidesz was suspended from membership in the EPP. The party chairman is Viktor Orbán .



Under the name "Alliance of Young Democrats" (Hungarian Fi atal De mokraták Sz övetsége , from the acronym Fidesz , also a pun on the Latin fides for "loyalty, faith") was the party on the thirtieth March 1988 of 37 young intellectuals in Budapest in Bibó István student residence founded. At the beginning the board consisted of six people.

From 1988 until the first free elections after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the party could be defined as a radical party of young people. Originally, only those who were not older than 35 years could become members. They took an active part in demonstrations and became known across the country after the solemn reburial of Imre Nagy through a speech by Viktor Orbán , which ultimately also contributed to the fall of the communist regime . The party played an important role in the negotiations at the "round table" before the fall of the Wall, where it was represented by Viktor Orbán, László Kövér and Gábor Fodor .

Opposition and first government participation (1990-2010)

In the first free election in 1990, the party received around 9% of the vote and then continued its political activity with 21 members in parliament. In 1992 Fidesz was accepted into the Liberal International (of which the party remained a member until 2000). In the course of the legislative period, Fidesz's popularity rose sharply, benefiting from dissatisfaction with the unsteady course of government of the bourgeois-conservative MDF. In 1993 polls, Fidesz ranked first. In the same year a group (among them Gábor Fodor) left the party and joined the liberal party SZDSZ . However, the temporary high in the polls did not last until the next election in 1994. On the contrary: the party fell to 7% and 20 seats.

FiDeSz renamed itself in 1996 to "Fidesz - Hungarian Civil Party" (Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Párt, Fidesz-MPP ) and in the second half of the 1990s took positions of the conservative-economically liberal party Hungarian Democratic Forum (Magyar Demokrata Fórum, MDF ) which lost votes during this time. During this time Fidesz emphasized less and less her original youthfulness. Fidesz was only used as a detached acronym and no longer as an abbreviation for "League of Young Democrats". Rather, it wanted to be perceived as a serious ruling party.

After the 1998 elections, Fidesz was able to form a coalition government together with the MDF and the Independent Party of Small Farmers, Farm Workers and the Bourgeoisie (Független Kisgazdapárt, FKGP ). Viktor Orbán became prime minister.

In the 2002 elections, Fidesz did not get enough votes to form a government. Therefore, the candidate of the Hungarian Socialist Party (Magyar Szocialista Párt, MSZP ), Péter Medgyessy , was charged with forming a government. In spring 2003, Fidesz adopted the current name Fidesz-MPSZ. After a success in the 2004 European elections , Fidesz formed an alliance with the Christian Democratic People's Party (Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt, KDNP ) in 2005 , but had to surrender to the socialist-liberal alliance of MSZP and SZDSZ in the 2006 parliamentary elections.

In the summer of 2007, Fidesz came under fire after the party failed to condemn the establishment of the right-wing paramilitary organization, the Hungarian Guard . The Hungarian Guard sought - also with military means - the "elimination" of the corrupt Gyurcsány government . Fidesz chairman Viktor Orbán spoke out against the use of force and was criticized for it by the right-wing extremists.

In government (since 2010)

In the parliamentary elections in Hungary in 2010 , Fidesz (in alliance with the KDNP) won in the first round with 52.7 percent of the vote, an increase of more than 10 percentage points, while the previously ruling social democratic MSZP and its coalition partner lost more than half of their share of the vote , the liberal SzDSz, was no longer represented in parliament. The right-wing extremist Jobbik , however, had the biggest gains and came in third. In the second ballot, Fidesz expanded its lead with direct mandates and thus achieved a two-thirds majority in parliament. The election was described as a "landslide" due to the massive shift in the balance of power and the party landscape. Viktor Orbán was then elected Prime Minister for the second time and Pál Schmitt (also a Fidesz member) was elected President.

Fidesz and KDNP used their two-thirds majority to draft a new constitution , which was passed in April 2011 - exactly one year after Fidesz's election victory - and which came into force at the turn of the following year. The name of the state was changed from “Hungarian Republic” to “Hungary”. The preamble, entitled “National Confession”, now contains a reference to God ( Invocatio Dei ) . In addition, St. Stephen , the first King of Hungary, and St. Stephen's Crown are mentioned and Hungary is referred to as part of "Christian Europe". The Hungarian nation is defined ethnically and culturally, the ethnic minorities are not part of the nation, but are referred to as “the nationalities living with us”. In addition, the parliament was reduced from 386 to 199 seats.

Due to a plagiarism affair, President Schmitt resigned on May 2, 2012, and was replaced by another Fidesz member, János Áder . In the parliamentary elections in 2014 , Fidesz (again running with KDNP) suffered a noticeable loss of votes, but was again the strongest party with 44.9%. Fidesz and KDNP even retained their two-thirds majority in parliament, as under the new electoral law more than half of the seats will be allocated directly in the constituencies, regardless of the national party's share of the votes, and Fidesz won 96 of the 106 constituencies.

During the refugee crisis in Europe from 2015 onwards , the Fidesz government strongly opposed the admission of refugees from Islamic and African countries and, above all, against the introduction of EU-wide refugee quotas. However, a referendum directed against the EU refugee policy failed due to insufficient participation of the voters. In the 2018 parliamentary elections , Fidesz + KDNP's share of the vote increased to 49.3%. The governing parties again received 133 of the 199 seats, which corresponds to a two-thirds majority.

According to non-governmental organizations, the situation of political rights and civil liberties in Hungary has deteriorated markedly under the leadership of Fidesz. For example, the organization Freedom House gave Hungary a grade of 1.0 in 2010, only 2.0 in 2015 and 3.0 in 2019. In this respect, Hungary is the country with the most negative development curve in Europe and, on this scale, the least free country in the European Union. This is particularly noticeable in the area of ​​press freedom, which Freedom House gave a value of 23 in 2010 (where 0 is completely free and 100 is not free at all), whereas in 2017 it was 44, which is no longer in the "free" category, but only "Partially free" falls. For example, the country's largest independent daily newspaper, Népszabadság , was discontinued in 2016. In the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International Hungary has slipped from 2010 to 2018 from the 50th to the 64th place - ahead of Bulgaria the second lowest value in the European Union.

In March 2019, Fidesz's membership in the European People's Party (EPP) was suspended. There was no majority within the EPP member parties in February 2020 for an exclusion from Fidesz, as advocated by EPP leader Donald Tusk . Above all, the German CDU and CSU spoke out against it.

Content profile

According to various political scientists, the ideological orientation of Fidesz has shifted several times in the course of its history. In its founding phase during the fall of the Berlin Wall until the mid-1990s, it was considered a radical liberal party that advocated human rights and the free market economy. In doing so, she primarily addressed young, liberal intellectuals who were neither part of the communist nomenclature nor affiliated with the church (the Christian-oriented middle class at that time still chose the MDF). In comparison with the similarly positioned SzDSz, FiDeSz's liberalism was perceived as even more radical. In the early 1990s, Fidesz MPs - including Orbán - sharply criticized the nationalist tendencies of the MDF government, which they believed to be backward-looking. According to Jürgen Dieringer, Fidesz's ideological change began around 1993 when the party adopted a national liberal direction. It had an intermediate position between the western-liberal SzDSz and the national-conservative MDF. However, this was perceived as “neither fish nor meat” and was not honored by voters.

After breaking with the SzDSz in 1994, Fidesz continued to transform itself into a conservative to nationally conservative party in the middle and second half of the 1990s. The change from the liberal to the conservative camp was manifested in 2000 when he left the Liberal International and joined the European People's Party. In the 2000s, the once secular and anti-clerical Fidesz - including its permanent partner, the small Christian KDNP - became the strongest religious and church-loyal force in the Hungarian party system. The Hungarian political scientist Attila Ágh considers the ideological orientation in these three phases to be so different that he speaks of a “first”, “second” and “third Fidesz”. Jürgen Dieringer, on the other hand, points out that even the early, supposedly liberal, Fidesz thematized national self-determination and the situation of the Magyar minorities in neighboring countries and had connections with the populist national camp.

Today Fidesz represents right-wing conservative positions on social issues. He particularly emphasizes pro-church and traditional “family values”. Authoritarianism and nationalism are very much anchored in Fidesz's rhetoric and politics; However, due to Hungary's EU membership, after the 2010 elections, observers expected the party's nationalism in government responsibility to be moderated. This expectation has not been confirmed since the party's inauguration in May 2010; numerous government measures have sparked severe European criticism of the alleged dismantling of democracy, human rights and the rule of law.

According to the Hungarian political scientists Attila Juhász, Péter Krekó and Krisztián Szabados, Orbán developed his politics on the basis of an ideology which, in its essential components, is almost completely identical to a kind of Putinism : nationalism, religion, social conservatism, state capitalism and state control of the media. The "orbánism", which enriches the Putin model with a Hungarian national ideology, defines nation, people, government and state as a unified concept, while it blames liberalism and free democracy for all problems .

Compared to the economically liberal SZDSZ and its first reign in 1998–2002, the party is now on a slightly different economic course due to the extremely poor economic situation in Hungary. In the context of numerous deregulations in recent years that have made Hungary one of the European countries with the highest rate of privatization, Fidesz, for example, called for the nationalization of the privatized Budapest Airport in the 2006 election campaign . Fidesz also advocated a health system that should be available to everyone at no extra cost and opposed the privatization of the health sector.

In contrast to many other right-wing conservative and populist parties in Europe, Fidesz under Orbán recognizes man-made climate change and its dangers and has so far supported almost every climate protection resolution in the EU Parliament. In the long term, the country's energy mix should consist of nuclear and solar energy ; Orbán calls for an expansion of the Paks nuclear power plant (Paks II).

For the period after the 2010 election, the party announced tax cuts as a key goal. So far the issue has not been addressed; it was justified with the national debt. Nor have any deregulations been reversed to date. The main focus of the government's work so far has been the reorganization of the civil service, along with numerous layoffs, and a reorganization of the media sector, which the European Union criticized as a threat to freedom of the press and freedom of expression. However, the Media Council, which was created in 2010, has not imposed any restrictions on the opposition media. Areas of the private media sector report to people from Orbán's environment. In the ranking of press freedom of the organization Reporters Without Borders , Hungary fell 50 places within eight years and is now ranked 73rd (as of 2018) .A former Fidesz member, the journalist Zsolt Bayer , had to pay a fine for the first time in 2013 due to anti-Semitic publications , in 2016 However, he received a high state award, the Knight's Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit , which several publicists, artists and public figures heavily criticized because Bayer wrote racist , anti-Semitic and anti-Gypsy texts. The right-wing extremist Jobbik was also fined for making racist statements.

Western media accuse the Fidesz government of promoting or at least tolerating anti-Semitism . The Orbán government, provided by Fidesz / KDNP, was the first Hungarian government to admit that the country shared responsibility for the Holocaust and to apologize for it, but Fidesz politicians regularly take part in commemorative events for Miklós Horthy , the authoritarian ruling administrator, who shares responsibility for the historian attribute the Holocaust to the Hungarian Jews and whom Orbán called an "exceptional statesman" in 2017. In 2018, Parliament's Vice-President Sándor Lezsák paid tribute to Iván Héjjas , a declared anti-Semite and leader of a militia after the First World War, who was sentenced to death in absentia for torture and murder in 1947, as a hero and freedom fighter. In 2017, Fidesz launched a poster campaign against US billionaire George Soros of Hungarian descent, which was criticized by a Hungarian Jewish community for containing anti-Semitic undertones. Another Hungarian Jewish organization contradicted this view, but described such government action as "not good and not useful".

“There is a population change going on in Europe . Partly so that speculators like Soros himself can make a lot of money. They want to destroy Europe because they hope for great profits from it. On the other hand, they also have ideological motives. They believe in a multicultural Europe, they don't like Christian Europe, they don't like Christian traditions in Europe and they don't like Christians. "

- Viktor Orbán, July 2018
László Kövér, 2000


Election results

Parliamentary elections

Election results of the parliamentary elections
year Number of votes Share of votes Seats
1990 439.481 8.95% 21st
1994 379.295 7.02% 20th
1998 1,153,217 28.37% 148
Fidesz MDF
2002 2,306,763 41.07% 188
2006 2,272,979 42.03% 164
2010 2,706,292 52.73% 263
2014 2,264,780 44.87% 133
2018 2,603,547 49.23% 133

Local elections

  • 1990: 792 MPs, 33 mayors
  • 1994: independent 284, in coalition 370 mandates; 30 mayors
  • 1998: 189 mayors

European elections

  • 2004: 47.4 percent, 12 MPs
  • 2009: 56.36 percent, 14 MPs
  • 2014: 51.48 percent, 12 MPs
  • 2019: 52.56 percent, 13 MPs


  • Attila Juhdsz, Peter Krekö, Krisztiän Szabados: Fidesz and national populism in Hungary . In: Ernst Hillebrand (ed.): Right-wing populism in Europe: Danger for democracy? Dietz, Bonn 2015, ISBN 978-3-8012-0467-9 , p. 96 ff.
  • Peter Krekö, Gregor Mayer: Transforming Hungary - together? An analysis of the Fidesz-Jobbik relationship . In: Michael Minkenberg (Ed.): Transforming the Transformation? The East European radical right in the political process . Routledge, New York et al. a. 2015, ISBN 978-1-138-83183-4 , p. 183 ff.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Charles E. Ritterband: Fidesz as the winner in the Hungarian municipal elections . In: , October 5, 2010. See Fidesz party expanding power . In: , October 4, 2010.
  2. See Karin Priester: Right and Left Populism: Approaching a Chameleon. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2012, ISBN 978-3-593-39793-1 , p. 107
  3. European People's Party: EPP suspends Orban's Fidesz party. Retrieved July 30, 2019 .
  4. Florian Hartleb: The hour of the populists: How our politics trumpetized and what we can do about it. Wochenschau Verlag, Schwalbach / Ts. 2017, p. 24.
  5. ^ A b Jürgen Dieringer: The political system of the Republic of Hungary. Genesis - Development - Europeanization. Barbara Budrich Verlag, Opladen / Farmington Hills (MI) 2009, p. 78.
  6. ^ A b c Jürgen Dieringer: The political system of the Republic of Hungary. Genesis - Development - Europeanization. Verlag Barbara Budrich, Opladen / Farmington Hills (MI) 2009, p. 79.
  7. a b Attila Ágh: Hungary between centralist majority democracy and European multi-level democracy. Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 2002.
  8. János Áder: Orbán's trust is Hungary's new president. Spiegel Online, May 2, 2012, accessed May 14, 2014 .
  9. Freedom in the World 2019
  10. Freedom of the Press 2017 - Hungary Profile , Freedom House.
  11. ^ Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 , Transparency International.
  12. Markus Becker, Peter Müller: Orbán, the Corona winner, April 1, 2020
  13. a b András Körösényi: Government and Politics in Hungary. CEU Press, Budapest / New York 1999, p. 32.
  14. Monika Nalepa: Skeletons in the Closet. Transitional Justice in Post-Communist Europe. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge / New York 2010, p. 111.
  15. ^ Andrea LP Pirro: The Populist Radical Right in Central and Eastern Europe: Ideology, impact, and electoral performance. Routledge, Abingdon (Oxon) / New York 2015, p. 154.
  16. Viktor Orban, populist and sole ruler? ( Memento of April 29, 2010 in the Internet Archive ). In: , April 26, 2010.
  17. Attila Juhász, Péter Krekó, Krisztián Szabados: Fidesz and the National populism in Hungary. In: Ernst Hildebrand: Right-wing populism in Europe. Danger to democracy? Dietz Verlag, Bonn 2015, pp. 96-104, here p. 99.
  18. ^ Hungary in the grip of the right . In: Uni Kassel AG Peace Research , April 13, 2010.
  19. Renationalization in Hungary? In: , September 16, 2005.
  20. Joshua Beer: European Study: How Right-Wing Populists Combat Climate Protection., February 26, 2019
  21. ^ Opposition questioned Orbán., June 17, 2019
  22. EU Council Presidency. Hungary suggests giving in to the media law . In: Spiegel Online , January 7, 2011, accessed January 20, 2011.
  23. a b Hungary in the media 2010-2014: Critical reflections on the press coverage of the German Society for Foreign Policy, 2015.
  24. Peter Münch: Journalism is not for optimists in Hungary. Süddeutsche Zeitung , October 27, 2018, accessed on August 14, 2020 .
  25. A Knight's Cross for the Misanthrope In: Spiegel Online , August 22, 2016, accessed on May 21, 2019.
  26. Hungary relativizes its co-responsibility for the Holocaust. January 28, 2014, accessed February 2, 2014 .
  27. Admission of guilt and victim role. January 30, 2014, accessed February 3, 2014 .
  28. Keno Verseck : Orbán's anti-Semitism policy: persecute hatred of Jews, honor persecutors of Jews., October 11, 2018
  29. A Mazsihisz a Soros-féle plakátkampány leállítását kérte Orbántól . In: . July 6, 2017 ( [accessed December 20, 2017]).
  30. ^ Campaign in Hungary: Soros conspiracy as a reason of state. Retrieved July 30, 2019 .
  31. ^ Results of the Hungarian parliamentary elections
  32. Hungary: Orbán secures two-thirds majority. In: Zeit Online. April 7, 2014, accessed March 25, 2018 .