What Is the Story Behind the Latest E.U.–Hungary Clash?

Ügyvezető igazgatónk, Kiss István The American Conservative-ben megjelent cikke

It is always difficult to explain to our American friends why it was so crucial for the countries of Central Europe to join the European Union. The ease of travel is a particularly useful and relatable example. Growing up as a child in post-communist Hungary in the 1990s, I still remember the feeling of dread emanating from my parents whenever we had to travel to the “West”—mostly Austria—and pass border control by car. Their unease was mostly due to past experiences under communism, when travel to the West was a privilege. Yet passing the border to Austria even after the fall of the Soviet Union was still no piece of cake, sometimes taking even half a day. After joining the Union, however, cross-border travel went from being an obstacle to be surmounted to a minor hindrance, if that. A far more fundamental factor, however, was behind the drive to join the E.U.: the feeling of once again being part of the Western world.