Monday, August 9, 2021

Hungary Sponsoring English-Language Think Tanks to Promote Orban

Here is more from The Atlantic:

Just as Hungary now sponsors English-language think tanks designed to promote [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán’s illiberal ideas, so did the Soviet Union once create phony “institutes for peace” designed to promote Soviet Communism. The idea in both cases was and is the same: Lure in foreigners who are bored, disgruntled, or underpaid at home; offer meals, attention, and sometimes more.


Here is what Vox had to say last year: "The Hungarian government has actively cultivated support conservatives. John O’Sullivan, an Anglo-American contributor to National Review, is currently based at the Danube Institute — a think tank in Budapest that O’Sullivan admits receives funding from the Hungarian government."

Vox also noted that Chris DeMuth, the former head of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), interviewed Orbán onstage at a conference, praising the prime minister in opening remarks as “not only a political but an intellectual leader.”

Meanwhile, the New York Times has reported on a think tank called Veritas, whose "main mission is to provide revisionist interpretations of 20th-century Hungarian history."  It has also reported on an "ecosystem" of Hungarian foundations and government-affiliated think tanks which have received $3.5 billion in public money in the past year.

After Orban’s return to power, a government-funded think-tank called the Center for Fundamental Rights was created in 2013, according to FT.