Balázs Orbán: The five pillars of a successful Europe

The political director of PM Orbán proposes a five-point plan that could lead to the socio-economic revival of Europe, amidst the shifting geopolitical landscape of the XXI. Century

This blog’s goal was always to provide a look at the “bigger picture” and the Hungarian perspective within it. Although this focus never changed, with the daily political struggle and the constantly shifting geopolitical landscape demanding more and more attention to certain topics Balázs Orbán’s recently published essay titled “A Central European Proposal for the Revival of Europe truly fits the aforementioned principle.

Let’s see Balázs Orbán’s “proposal” and its five essential pillars that will lead to Europe’s ascension.

 Pillar One: The West as an economic powerhouse

In the XX. century and up until the last decades, “the West” including the U.S. and Europe as a collective economic sphere, has dominated the rest of the world through sheer economic prowess. On the other hand, this Western hegemony and “the economic rivalry between the Western and non-Western worlds is approaching a state of equilibrium after two centuries, signifying a momentous shift in civilizations”.

In more simple terms, this means the East has started to successfully compete with the Western hemisphere both in terms of products and manpower while starting to catch up in essential technologies alongside having the added benefit of raw materials and resources essential to the European economy.

On this Balázs Orbán marks, that to “navigate through this new reality, it is crucial to understand how Europe has succeeded in the past during major global changes, and “we must examine the approaches used to unite diverse European nations with varying values, identities, and interests in successful cooperation” embracing the motto "united in diversity.

Pillar Two: Strengthening institutions and shaping the rules of globalization

The dwindling trust in our institutions is easily perceivable by anyone. According to Orbán as “challengers to the existing order are actively constructing alternative systems for agreements, forming alliances, and establishing platforms to address conflicts”, these new influences will reach an “inevitable tipping point” bypassing the existing institutional framework and creating parallel systems to thrive in. Therefore, Orbán suggests that Europe should pursue EU expansion, exerting its control, but “reduce the overcentralized bureaucratic power in Brussels” and let member states maintain their vision of sovereignty.

Pillar Three: There is no “End of History”

The decline of global U.S. hegemony Orbán says that the “imposition” of the neoliberal political and economic model ended “in alienation from the rest of the world” and as a result “brought together its adversaries in increasingly closer cooperation”. This closely ties to the second pillar as events like the Russo-Ukrainian War clearly show, how one event can influence the status quo on a global scale and lead to new forms of socio-economic engagement. And while Balázs Orbán notes that we are witnessing the birth of a “multipolar world” and in order for the West to protect its interests, the establishment of its own standing army is essential, reducing its dependence on the United States.

Pillar Four: Raising competitiveness and affordable energy

With the war in Ukraine, most of Central Europe found itself between the hammer and the hard place, in terms of energy access and supply. The “green transition” is inevitable, but as “rapid policy changes outpaced technological advancements” renewables remained more expensive compared to other sources hindering economic competitiveness. Balázs Orbán warns that if the transition is not implemented gradually, it will cause the “decline of European industry and the precarious situation faced by the struggling European middle class would become inevitable”.

Pillar Five: Crossing the ideological divide, and Christian values

Last, but not least, Balázs Orbán suggests nurturing the framework of values and ideas that made the West great. Emphasizing that “building a better, fairer, and safer Europe” through translating Christian values and teachings into the economic and political framework and preserving the principles of these ideas can serve as a shared cultural foundation upon which European states can collaborate and prosper in the years to come.