Orban chooses Trump campaign slogan for EU presidency

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Orbán choses Trump's campaign slogan as the motto of the Hungarian EU Presidency

Every six months a different country takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union, with Hungary taking over from 1 July until the end of the year. On Tuesday the slogan and logo of the Hungarian presidency were unveiled.
The slogan is not other, but Donald Trump's emblematic election slogan, "Make America Great Again", with a bit of modification: Make Europe Great Again.

Trump used the MAGA hook in 2016, when he became US president. “It is a reference to an active presidency,” Hungarian EU Affairs Minister János Bóka told Politico. “It actually shows manifest the expectation that together we should be stronger than individually but that we should be allowed to remain who we are when we come together. It also portrays the idea that Europe is able to become an independent global actor in our transforming world.”

Rogan breaks silence in rare interview

Antal Rogán, often referred to as Viktor Orbán’s “propaganda minister” by critics, has granted a rare interview to 444. During the discussion that lasted over an hour, Rogán dismissed claims of a government-controlled media empire. He acknowledged that editors-in-chief from the Central European Press and Media Foundation (KESMA) routinely engage with the government, claiming they are “willing to hear what the government wants to say.” Rogán described these media entities as representing “right-wing values.”

During the interview, Rogán repeatedly characterized his role as being in the government's "back office". Following the 2022 parliamentary elections, Rogán, who leads the prime minister’s cabinet office, was granted authority over all intelligence services. “Now I can see practically anything I want,” he said.

Rogán, who intentionally stays out of the spotlight, said he does not consider himself a popular figure. He accused 444 of securing the interview through blackmail and declared that he would not engage with any other newspaper again. 

NATO allies limit intelligence sharing with Hungary amid growing concerns

Doubts about Hungary’s allegiance under far-right prime minister Viktor Orbán’s government have prompted NATO members to restrict intelligence sharing with the country, according to a NATO official in Brussels, investigative outlet VSquare reports. As a result, Hungary receives less information through NATO channels.

The NATO official explained that other members are cautious about sharing sensitive information, knowing it will be accessible to Hungary. Consequently, intelligence is often shared in smaller groups that exclude Hungary. "The problem is that this affects all members, as they share less sensitive information through central NATO channels," the official noted.

A former deputy head of an EU country’s civilian intelligence agency echoed these concerns, stating, “Our issue is with the political leadership of Hungary.” The skepticism surrounding Hungary’s allegiance has led to a cautious approach in NATO's information exchange practices.

EU court orders Orbán government to pay €200 million over asylum law violations

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has mandated Hungary’s government to pay a €200 million sum and a daily penalty of €1 million for not complying with a prior court ruling. In a press release, the CJEU stated, “That failure, which consists in deliberately avoiding the application of a common EU policy as a whole, constitutes an unprecedented and extremely serious infringement of EU law.”

The Hungarian government’s violations included restricting access to international protection procedures, unlawfully detaining asylum seekers in transit zones, not allowing them to remain in Hungary during appeals against asylum rejections, and expelling third-country nationals staying illegally. Although Hungary closed its transit centres after a CJEU ruling in 2020, it introduced a new mechanism requiring asylum seekers to undergo a pre-screening process at Hungarian embassies in Belgrade and Kyiv. This new process reportedly made it nearly impossible to apply for asylum in Hungary.