ECTR Statement on the Results of Hungarian 2018 Parliamentary Elections

We must re-examine our attitudes to tolerance, which can no longer be unconditionally applied to those who reject the very principles of open-mindedness.

“The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation is concerned by the dangerous rhetoric which has accompanied the Hungarian election campaign in which implicit and explicit references have been made to “opposition politicians in the pay of foreigners”, further entrenching the anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic agenda of Hungary’s nationalist administration.

The concept of an ‘illiberal democracy’, described by some researchers as neo-authoritarianism, must not be confused with the Secure Tolerance paradox which seeks to safeguard Europe’s liberal ideals by reexamining the concept of tolerance without boundaries and how to reconcile unlimited tolerance with our legitimate security concerns.  

‘Illiberal democracy’ can only fuel conflict and antagonism, giving a boost to  other far-right European movements which spread divisive anti-immigration, anti-semitic and extremist agendas and in doing so, test the solidity of our values. European society today too readily turns a blind eye to hate speech, incitement and other illiberal behaviours in the name of free speech. 

We must re-examine our attitudes to tolerance, which can no longer be unconditionally applied to those who reject the very principles of open-mindedness.  As well as defending liberal values, we must robustly confront illiberal values, political groups and individuals.” 

Moshe Kantor

ECTR President

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