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August 14, 2014

Ten Things U.S. Government Should Do Now to Confront the Troubling Rise of Extremist Parties in Hungary and Greece

  1. In light of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s embrace of “illiberal democracy,” President Obama should push back on Hungary and support removing the country from the Governing Council of the Community of Democracies.
  2. President Obama should instruct the Director of National Intelligence to investigate funding and other support from the Kremlin to far-right, pro-Russia parties in Europe. Hungary’s Jobbik and Greece’s Golden Dawn have close ties with Moscow.
  3. President Obama should offer assistance from U.S. law enforcement agencies to assist Greece in mounting a credible prosecution of Golden Dawn members accused of criminal activities.
  4. President Obama should express concern about the impact of the rise of neo-fascist parties in Europe on the strength of the Transatlantic alliance. Golden Dawn, Jobbik and others advocate withdrawal from NATO and the European Union and have close ties with Russia.
  5. Vice President Joe Biden should represent the United States at the 10th Anniversary of the OSCE’s Berlin Conference on Anti-Semitism this fall.
  6. While respecting E.U. sovereignty, President Obama should instruct Secretary of State John Kerry to convey U.S. support for European efforts to hold Hungary accountable for violating E.U. law up to and including Article 7 proceedings to strip Hungary of its E.U. voting rights.
  7. The State Department should recommend that the European Commission send Hungary a Rule of Law opinion aimed at restoring European rule-of-law norms in Hungary as a first step in holding Budapest accountable for violating E.U. law and standards. 
  8. U.S. agencies should fund programs to support independent media outlets in Hungary, which are on the verge of disappearing, and express disapproval for Hungarian policies restricting media freedom.
  9. If substantial progress is not being made on specific measures to combat antisemitism and historical revisionism, President Obama should begin diplomatic efforts to ensure that Hungary doesn’t become the 2015 chair of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.
  10. Congress should hold hearings on the threat posed to U.S. interests by the rise of Golden Dawn, Jobbik, and other antisemitic, neo-fascist parties in Europe.

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