Viktor Orban’s Hungary, the “most stable” government in the EU
Hungary, where Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party has been in power uninterrupted since 2010, is the “most stable” government in the EU, according to a new analysis published on Friday (23 September).
Data collected by Pantarhei, a Vienna-based management consultancy, places Hungary at the forefront of its “EU Instability Index», followed by Cyprus, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Germany.
Spain, Bulgaria and Italy, all of which have experienced a combination of weak coalitions and regular changes of government in recent years, are seen as the most volatile in their “EU Instability Index».
This index is mainly based on the number of parties represented in government and the number of government changes during the last two electoral terms.
Orban’s political dominance in Hungary has seen his party win decisive majorities with two-thirds of the parliament in the last four general elections, cementing his model of illiberal democracy.
However, last week the European Parliament adopted a resolution saying that Hungary had become a “hybrid system of electoral autocracyand could no longer be considered a full-fledged democracy.
Furthermore, Pantarhei’s analysis suggests that governments across the European Union are struggling to gain a full mandate. “This has led to what appears to be permanent fluctuation, with parties in electoral mode almost constantly. And that limits their ability to provide answers to important and urgent political questions.s,” says the report.
The report highlights that in the last two parliamentary terms there have been changes of government in 21 of the 27 EU Member States, including four in Bulgaria, six in Austria and Italy and seven in Romania.
Growing political instability in the European Union has seen the rise of right and left nationalist and populist parties and the collapse of support for moderate parties.
The early general elections to be held in Italy on Sunday 25 September should confirm this trend. In the polls, the far-right party Brothers of Italy, led by Giorgia Meloni, leads the polls. However, it is unclear if and how he would be able to form a government.
«The time of the big parties and the resulting clear political situation in the EU member states seems to be oversays Pantarhei, adding: “Coalitions of three or more parties have become the new normal.»
In this context, the 2024 European elections are likely to be another test of resistance for the mainstream parties, as far-right and nationalist parties are expected to make significant gains at the expense of the centre-right EPP, Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in a Europe Renewal.
According to Pantarhei’s analysis, the increasing instability of national governments is having an impact on EU decision-making. In fact, the proposals can be more easily blocked by the member states, but it is more difficult for the Council of Ministers to reach common positions as it leaves the political initiative to the European Commission.
Gilbert Rukschcio, managing partner of Pantarhei, told EURACTIV that the form of government in Europe has changed a lot lately, becoming more fragmented and volatile. In particular, this affects the Council’s ability to take fundamental policy decisions.
The binding of the European Commission and Parliament to fixed five-year terms of office also contributes to their stability and political influence.
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