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Hungary has a strategy to win the decade

Magyar Nemzet
2023.01.08. 15:13
Hungary has a strategy to win the decade

“It is not in Hungary’s interest to reinstate the bloc-based international order of the Cold War era – we need an alternative globalization model and strategy,” wrote the Political Director of the Prime Minister in his recent article that was published in the weekly news magazine, Mandiner. Balázs Orbán outlined the strategy for Hungary to win the next decade that was determined by the Prime Minister.

The Political Director summarized Viktor Orbán’s main assertions in his article which the Prime Minister had outlined at the Széll Kálmán foundation’s private Christmas Dinner where he discussed the future challenges and outlook for Hungary. In connection with this, Balázs Orbán wrote in his Mandiner article that, “the biggest challenge facing our country is breaking out of the category of medium-developed countries and catching up with developed countries while reaching a status of regional medium power in Central Europe. 

This is a task that Hungary must fulfill soon, as we forge ahead, otherwise the conditions for advancement will evaporate and our window of time will pass. 

However, the fact that Hungary has to navigate this development path within a fragmented world order is a challenge. “The contours of the new world order are only forming right now, but one thing is sure: if the bloc-based international order of the Cold War era is reinstated, international relations and trade will be threatened, and consequently Hungary’s relevance could be threatened as well. This all poses a fundamental challenge to our country, which is on an intensive course to development,” said Balázs Orbán in his Mandiner article. 

The neoliberal globalization model has run out of steam 

He characterized the current globalization model – which came about after the fall of the Soviet Union and as the neoliberal United States became the unipolar leader of the world order – based on network science: a decentralized, hierarchy-free globalization model. According to Balázs Orbán, the drawbacks of this model led to the economic crisis of 2008 – only few at the time recognized however that the neoliberal economic and political world order was also in crisis.  

However, at the time, the Hungarian right already saw that this is about much more: the entire world order was undergoing a transformation,

– added the Prime Minister’s Political Director. He believes the major events of the 2010s – migration, Brexit, Donald Trump’s 2016 win – showed that the neoliberal global order does not work as well as before and is consequently losing legitimacy. “And the worldwide pandemic that erupted in 2020 shed light on the vulnerability of the neoliberal world order. The Ukrainian-Russian war put the cherry on top, making it clear that the current Western-focus is not sustainable because the West’s challengers have become stronger, in no small part due to liberalized trade and economy,” wrote Balázs Orbán. 


According to the Political Director, the US, in an effort to defend its dominance while leading the West, has responded to this world order crisis by severing, weakening, or more closely controlling its relations.  

Using Western terminology, this is what’s known as decoupling. It seems that the Cold War era national blocs are being established once more. From the perspective of network theory, the resulting world order can be described as a system of hierarchical networks existing side by side,

– said Balázs Orbán, defining the current world order. As he wrote, in such a system, all economic, political and cultural transfers take place through the bloc’s leading states. 

We may suffer 

These big players form the center of the blocs while the individual countries that fall under the umbrella of the center are seen as nodes and only have a periphery role. The Political Director of the Prime Minister called attention to the fact that the European Union, but especially the periphery countries, may suffer because of this. 

In such a system, the center can not only control the relations of the bloc, but it can even take on the task of distributing resources.  

Moreover, any disturbance in the supply chain of goods appears first and foremost in the periphery countries – while they have no means at their disposal to change the situation. 

Based on this as well as historical lessons, Balázs Orbán concluded that Hungary must stay out of the bloc system.  

In additional reference to the results of network research, the forming of blocs can lead to certain countries being obliged to choose a center and that connection becomes an exclusive connection. “In other words, our country would be forced into a subordinate role which would prevent us from breaking out of the category of medium-developed countries,” stated the Political Director. The solution he envisions would be a model based on a connected economy.  

Instead of severing relations, it is in our interest to increase connections as is shown by Hungary’s history, geographic location and cultural characteristics,

– he added. According to Balázs Orbán, everything that goes against mediation between East and West causes a problem for Hungary. Such is the case with the war in Ukraine and the economic sanctions because they make paths to trade between East and West impassable.

Photo: Viktor Orbán (Photo: Mirkó István)

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