Vona announces future Jobbik government to set up civil parliament

Since November 2016, Jobbik’s president Gábor Vona has made announcements on the 18th day of each month to present the key programme elements of a future Jobbik government. In today’s press conference, the president first talked about the concept of the European Wage Union, which he had introduced last December and which had just brought a historic success for his party.

As it was reported earlier, the European Commission has registered the initiative, so the collection of one million signatures from eight EU member states may begin on 22nd May. Mr Vona emphasized that while the Commission registered the historic initiative, it also made grave decisions concerning the policy of the Hungarian government. Referring to the event as the beginning of a new era, Mr Vona explained that Jobbik, still in opposition, launched an important process which could be continued in earnest when the party came into power. The goal is to reduce the gap between the wages of Hungarian and Western European workers, which requires an increased competitiveness from Hungarian business enterprises. In order to converge these companies to the EU average, we need a new cohesion policy and a renewed EU. What happened so far was that investors allied with the corrupt Hungarian elite to skim the EU funds and slow down the country’s development. This structure must be changed as soon as possible, Jobbik’s president asserted.

“While Viktor Orbán leads Hungary out of Europe, Jobbik modifies the functioning of the European Union. While he keeps talking, we act. While he says we must stop Brussels, we say we must stop Viktor Orbán and reform the Union so that we Hungarians could feel good in it, too. Any real freedom fight should be focusing on reducing the gap between Hungarian and Western European living standards,” he added.

Mr Vona warned that the wage union could not be implemented overnight; it was a process for which we had to fight but Jobbik at least launched it. He also emphasized that the Hungarian governments of the past 13 years had all failed to take any steps in this direction. While German average wages were three times higher than the Hungarian average in 2008, now they are four times higher.

Civil parliament to be set up by Jobbik

The president also announced his next commitment. As he put it, the relations between politicians and NGOs had sunken lower than ever. Although the phenomenon has its roots in Communism, Hungary’s democratization process also failed to fulfill the expectations, i.e., civil courage has not become part of our life. In Mr Vona’s view, it has several reasons, including the three below:
- Social reflexes remained unchanged. On top of that, the government’s fear-based policy further enhances the anti-NGO practice typical of Kádár’s Communist regime.
- Political and economic players were also interested in preventing the establishment of independent NGOs, so they promoted organizations that appeared as civil but in fact were serving their agenda.
- There are very few institutions or forums where civil organizations can truly have a say in Hungary’s affairs.

Jobbik’s new proposal relates to the third point: getting into government, the party would set up a civil parliament. Mr Vona explained that the establishment and operation of a civil parliament should be the subject of a constructive national debate as it was not Jobbik who should determine such factors. However, the party does have some propositions:
- In their view, the civil parliament could hold regional as well as national assembly meetings a few times a year.
- Jobbik would entrust the civil parliament with the following competencies: firstly, to provide feedback to politicians on how the already adopted laws are implemented. Secondly, it would be important to evaluate legislative acts and measures as well as to provide input for them.

Jobbik is convinced that the civil parliament will be more efficient if it could represent as many interests as possible. The key participants should be employers’ organizations, cultural associations, trade unions and churches as well as social and charity organizations. Mr Vona pointed out that NGOs joining the civil parliament should have appropriate social backing. “Organizations offering no social benefit should not be allowed to have a say in how the country is governed,” Mr Vona said, mentioning the example of Civil Union Forum (CÖF), which provides only minimal benefit for the society. These entities must have a transparent operation and a substantial structure; otherwise one-person organizations could troll away the entire civil parliament, the politician emphasized.

Finally, the president expressed that Jobbik considered civil organizations as partners to cooperate in bringing prosperity for Hungary.


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