Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

D3.1 Country Report | April 2021

Author: Daniel Gyollai, Glasgow Caledonian University

This report provides a brief presentation of the context, structures and stakeholders of (de-)radicalisation in contemporary Hungary. The prevalent form of radicalisation in present-day Hungary is right-wing extremism mixed with ethno-nationalist, anti-establishment and religious elements, shaped by the legacy of Trianon, the Horthy-era[1] and the fascist Arrow Cross Party (Nyilaskeresztes Párt).[2] The most significant events that prompted radicalisation were party politics right after the collapse of the one-party system in 1989; the socio-economic situation and subsequent crisis of the socialist-liberal government in 2006; and the so-called “refugee crisis” in 2015. Right-wing polarisation led to the most shocking events in contemporary Hungary, the Roma murders in 2008-2009. Besides Roma, the usual targets of violence are Jews, migrants and the LGBTQI community. There have been several far-right group formations since the collapse of the communist regime in 1989. However, the Fidesz-KDNP[3] party alliance currently in power has systematically taken over the platform and narratives of Jobbik.[4] While the latter has been moving to the centre, the former has become gradually more radical both in terms of political discourse and social policy. Fidesz has essentially closed the political space and monopolised right-wing radicalisation in Hungary; social-liberal values, the Roma, migrants and LGBTQI communities have been under constant attack by the government. As a consequence, efforts of de-radicalisation and reducing hate crime remain with stakeholders, such as NGOs, charities and religious organisations.

[1]    Miklós Horthy was the regent of Hungary between 1920-1944.

[2]    The Arrow Cross Party was the Hungarian Nazi Party founded in 1935 and in power between October 1944 and March 1945.

[3]    ‘Fidesz’ is the abbreviation for ‘Fiatal Demokraták Szövetség’ (Alliance of Young Democrats); KDNP is the abbreviation for ‘Keresztény Demokrata Néppárt’ (Christian Democratic People’s Party).

[4]    The name ‘Jobbik’ is an untranslatable play on words. ‘Jobb’ means both ‘right’ and ‘better’; ‘jobbik’ indicates the better one between two alternatives.