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National Democracy vs European Rule of Law? The lack of public demand for the rule of law in Hungary

Nowadays, the ‘illiberal democracy’ or ‘hybrid regime’ in Hungary is one of the favourite hot topics of European constitutional lawyers. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been receiving well-deserved criticism for centralising the power of his government and eliminating checks and balances. However, little has been said about Hungarian citizens’ role in all what has been happened. Authors sometimes seem to forget about the fact that Orbán does not reign over Hungarians against their will, but he is getting re-elected again and again – last time in April 2022. I argue that behind this series of electoral victories, there is a lack of public demand for limiting state power amongst Hungarians. In this paper I will outline why this is a heritage of state socialism and how the EU should take this social background into account when trying to enforce the rule of law in Hungary.



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re:constitution Working Papers


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