The Hungarian ruling party, Fidesz, is making headlines with a new campaign that targets European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. This is the first time that Fidesz has made Von der Leyen a personal target in a campaign similar to their previous campaign against her predecessor Jean-Claude Juncker, which caused controversy in Brussels.
Overnight, billboards for the upcoming European parliamentary elections were unveiled, featuring Von der Leyen alongside Alex Soros, the son of Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros. The slogan on the posters reads: “Let’s not dance as they play.” This has sparked criticism from some who believe that the central role of George Soros in Fidesz propaganda is evidence of anti-Semitism, which the party strongly denies. Previous billboards showing Juncker alongside Soros drew a rebuke from Brussels in 2019 and led to Fidesz removing them in response to the threat of expulsion from the European Parliament.
Fidesz is seeking to unblock billions of euros in EU funds suspended by Brussels due to its policies under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Orbán has been vocal about his opposition to the current European model built in Brussels and emphasizes that Hungary “must say no” to it. The country’s stance on Russia and skepticism towards plans to offer Ukraine a path to join the EU will be a major topic at the next EU summit in mid-December.
As part of this stance, Orban sent out a survey asking Hungarians whether the EU should allocate more funds to Ukraine or grant it membership. This reinforces Hungary’s position as the most sympathetic EU country towards Russia and highlights its reservations about Ukraine’s potential membership into the bloc.