Gábor Halmai


Professor of Law, Department of European Studies; Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

EURIAS Visiting Fellow
(September 2015 – June 2016)


The Rise and Fall of Post-Communist Constitutionalism: The Case of Hungary and its Impact on the Future of Liberal Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe

The proposed research deals with the transformation of a liberal constitutional system
into an illiberal one from both an empirical and a normative/theoretical perspective. The
empirical study puts the constitutional backsliding in Hungary at the center. Its relevance goes beyond the concrete case study because the countries of Central and Eastern Europe face similar challenges of democratization.The aim of the normative/theoretical aspect of the research is to explore the relationship and interaction between constitutional culture and constitutional law.


Invalid Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary

Despite all the immoral and unlawful efforts of the government to influence the Hungarian voters, the majority of them did not cast votes, and made the referendum invalid. Disregarding this result, at the night of the referendum, Prime Minister Orbán announced the amendment of the constitution “in order to give a form to the will of the people.”
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Hungary’s Anti-European Immigration Laws

Viktor Orbán, who has styled himself as the defender of Europe’s “Christian civilization” against an Islamic invasion, has encouraged other eastern European governments to follow his example in violating EU norms. If Hungarians ultimately opt for an illiberal democracy, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán publicly advocated over a year ago, they must accept certain consequences. These include parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies.
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