Budapest's One-Party Democracy

By Ambassador András Simonyi

Ambassador András Simonyi is the Managing Director of the Center for Transatlantic Relations at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. Previously, he held some of the highest positions in the Hungarian diplomatic service, including Hungarian Ambassador to the United States (2002-2007) and to NATO. His focus is on transatlantic security and business, democratic transition, and human rights. He is a contributor to the Huffington Post, The Hill and a commentator on Newsmax on Russia, Ukraine, the EU and human rights.

Hungary has decidedly taken a turn toward “illiberal” democracy, which is hurting its relationship with the United States. The Cipher Brief spoke with Ambassador András Simonyi, who served as Hungarian Ambassador to the U.S. from 2002-2007 and Hungarian Ambassador to NATO before that, about Hungary’s path to illiberalism.

The Cipher Brief: The European Union (EU), the United States, and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban himself have all talked about Hungary as an “illiberal” democracy. What does this mean in theoretical terms?

Access all of The Cipher Brief’s national security-focused expert insight by becoming a Cipher Brief Subscriber+ Member.

Sign Up Log In

Related Articles