Gábor Halmai

is Professor of Law at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, and Visiting Professor at Princeton University.


Cover for: The decline of liberal democracy in Europe's midst

Fidesz’s constitutional counter-revolution has reversed the process of democratization begun in Hungary in 1989. Seeking reasons for Hungary’s ‘backsliding’, Gábor Halmai argues that democratic culture is more crucial than formal legality to guaranteeing rule of law. Hungary challenges the EU’s ability to prevent illiberal democracies emerging in its midst.

The Hungarian parliament in Budapest

Towards an illiberal democracy

Hungary's new constitution

Hungary’s new constitution contradicts European democratic standards on numerous counts. It allows the current government to set in stone its economic and social policy; it excludes other nationalities living within Hungary while entitling “ethnic” Hungarians beyond its borders; and, most starkly anti-democratically, it undermines the independence of regulatory institutions ranging from the national bank to the constitutional court and media.

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