Carrots and stick. The use of EU funds to enforce the Rule of law in Hungary

The idiom «carrots and stick» is often illustrated with the image of a jockey riding a donkey. The rider tries to persuade the animal to go faster by hanging a carrot in front of the donkey, on the one hand, and by using a stick to hit the poor beast, on the other. If we apply this metaphor to explain how the EU tried to convince the Orbán government to take steps toward the respect of the Rule of law, we must conclude that for twelve long years the donkey clearly outsmarted the rider.

Change of regime in Hungary: postponed due to lack of interest

Another landslide victory for Fidesz: that is the outcome of the April 3 national elections, as the constitutional regime change has been eventually postponed due to lack of interest. Nobody can predict the future; nevertheless, based on the characteristics of the current Hungarian political regime and the major trends of the last 12 years, one can take some educated guesses as to what the future may bring. In this short piece I argue that in the next parliamentary term, the Orbán-regime will most probably be less democratic than ever before. 

The devil lies in the procedural details: the Conditionality Regulation saga

The aim of this short article is to give an overview of the Conditionality Regulation saga, from the emergence of the idea to the potential and long overdue activation of the mechanism after the delivery of the ECJ judgment. I will point out that all the main issues of this years-long struggle concerned primarily procedural questions, while discussions about the actual rule of law infringements taking place in Hungary and Poland took a backseat.

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