Mirwais Janan: The Liaisons Between Hungary’s Far Right Party And The EaP Region, Especially With Azerbaijan
Mirwais Janan: The Liaisons Between Hungary’s Far Right Party And The EaP Region, Especially With Azerbaijan

The Jobbik - Movement for a Better Hungary is a Hungarian radical right-wing party, which has been present in the Hungarian Parliament from 2010.

As a parliamentary party it has intense and rich external connections that can be approached in two forms. It is important to highlight that according to the party statute documentation the leader of the party has his own and separate cabinet that also includes the presidential foreign affairs advisors. On the other hand, there is the foreign policy cabinet, which basically determines the party’s foreign policy strategy, conducts the foreign relations and organizes the protocol meetings.

Based on the work of these two forums Jobbik developed its foreign policy strategy or policy directives. The most important foundation of these „guidelines” is to determine whether the former foreign policy should not be continued because a.) has been already – partially – achieved b.) has already failed. Furthermore, the indispensable ascertainment of these guidelines is that the omnipotent doctrine of the Euro-Atlantic integration must be stopped. Value-based approach - with pragmatic focus points - is emphasized in these guidelines.

The relationship between Russia and Jobbik must be underlined with reference to the Eastern Opening Politics. The strategy of the party disposes any region that shows a kind of kinship with the Hungarian nation and emphasizes the Asia-Pacific region as well as the Balkans (it is important – however - that the document does not narrow the region to the Western Balkans).

Summa summarum, the foreign policy strategy of Jobbik is consistent in the way of attempting to break the mainstream foreign policy guides.

The Azerbaijani connection

The unambiguous friendship towards Azerbaijan perfectly fits into the Eastern Opening program.

However, in order to highlight the main points of Jobbik-Azerbaijani relations, first of all, the Azerbaijani-Hungarian bilateral cooperation has to be examined. Since they are very diverse, we put the emphasis on parliamentary relations; it is much more relevant regarding the Jobbik.

Hungary recognized Azerbaijan’s independence on December 26, 1991 and has also launched diplomatic relations a year after. The first presidential visit was held in Budapest by Heydar Aliyev (the current president, Ilham Aliyev's father, former president of Azerbaijan - ed.) in 1994.

According to the regulator act of the Hungarian national assembly, the Parliament might establish so-called interparliamentary committees. In 2007 the Hungarian house has established such a group with the Azeri parliament. Since 2010 the chair of the group has been Mr. Márton Gyöngyösi, member of the parliament, and the Jobbik party’s chief of foreign affairs cabinet.

The group has an intense work. They prepared the visit of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev to Budapest in 2008 and the visit of Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament to Baku in 2009.

And Azerbaijan became important to Jobbik. The party has committed primarily after 2010 to the economic and political operation of Azerbaijan, in addition to supporting the country’s foreign policy in an extremely welcomed way.

The mentioned Mr. Gyöngyösi had submitted a draft resolution in 2011 to the Hungarian Parliament, which basically includes the following:

declares that the Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region is a “victim” of Armenian aggression;

confirms that the Armenians - in accordance with the relevant provisions of the United Nations - has carried out ethnic cleansing (genocide, although the phrase has been avoided);

declares that Azerbaijan's territorial integrity is a priority;

addresses the Government of Hungary – who at time was holding the EU Presidency title – to make every political effort to stop the conflicts, the infringements, while taking into consideration the aforementioned criteria.

The Hungarian National Assembly has not adopted the draft resolution, it is important however to note that the Fidesz-Christian Democratic parties have been the majority in the Parliament at the time. (See the case: Ramil Safarov).

Of course, there was some suspicion that the Jobbik may receive financial assistance from some Azerbaijani political groups. This suspicion voiced in 2013 - after the Hungarian government released Safarov to Azerbaijan with reference to international conventions - by the head of the Hungarian ethnic Armenians. Sevan Serkisián stated “everyone is placing the blame on Fidesz; it is though not them who have done nothing but lie to the Hungarian society about politics with Azerbaijan. The Jobbik did.” He considered, there is no doubt that Azerbaijan is financing Jobbik. It should be noted, however, that as for this no one provided particular evidence.

Further to the – a website tied to the party in many ways - Jobbik considers the Azerbaijani nation as "brotherly nation". The term might refer to kinship based on the adventuring periods of the Hungarian tribes.

Brotherly nation – ignoring the fact that as for the domestic political field Jobbik is fully committed to Christianity and Azerbaijan is a Muslim country.

Anyway, regarding the Muslim religion Jobbik does not have consistent policy. In fact until 2015 the party had been explicitly committed to the special social structure of Muslim countries, furthermore on the topic of the Palestinian- Israeli conflict, the party clearly stood at the Palestinian side while officially condemns Zionism (with some intense voice of anti-Semitism).

Whereas from 2015, the migrant crisis in Europe enhanced Jobbik to dissociate itself from the Muslim-friendship (the relations between the Hungarian Muslim communities and the Jobbik is also very intense, but due to to the volume of the topic it will not be mentioned here).

What about Moldova?

One of the most typical examples of the supposed inconsistent foreign policy of Jobbik party – although according to its foreign affairs strategy it is based on the Hungarian interests – is the commitment to the Great-Romania political idea.

However, before we would deduct incorrect conclusions, it has to be clarified that the aforementioned commitment is not like we have stated in the case of Azerbaijan. In that case the leadership of the party is more like to be based in a so-called realpolitik notion.

Further to the their standpoint the planned unification of Romania and Moldova has been one the most intense topic in the Moldovan and Romanian public life and according to the party’s vice-president, the unification could be an essential opportunity to the Hungarian community in Transylvania. The party believes the process should lead to a sort of federation of Romania; therefore the Hungarian community in Romania – with the support of the official Hungarian foreign policy – could have a stronger pressure on its more potent autonomy.

The assumption of the inconsistent foreign policy is further strengthened when we are examining the standpoint of Sixty-Four Counties Youth Movement (HVIM) an organization tied in many ways to the Jobbik. In early 2013 a patriot organization of Chisinau has organized a protest at the Embassy of Romania in Chisinau to express its commitment to the autonomy – and freedom – of Székely Land within Romania. The Hungarian Movement have expressed the appreciation for the protest and stated the confirmation of the independence of the Republic of Moldova and at same time the condemnation of Romania unification ambitions.

Georgia – What Russia says, belongs to us

We have already highlighted the commitment of the party to the Eastern Opening Program and Public Policy. However it should be pointed out that this commitment does not mean a clear and transparent Eastern Partnership strategy (EaP). As for the member states of the EaP the party has unequivocal position to Azerbaijan, a bit inconsistent attitude towards Moldova and no official stance regarding Georgia. Unless we take the Russian guideline as an official to the Jobbik-Georgia relations.

Press close to the party emphasized the nation of Georgia as a beach head of Israel during the Russian-Georgian war in 2008. Moreover, the referred writes the following on Georgia: “It would be a mistake to equate the Estonian and Georgian events and happenings. Estonia is a modern nation, while Georgia is a permanent mafia republic. It counts whether we are talking about communists or oligarchs of the Caucasus. (…) They [the Georgians – the author] have striked first at Russia with the encouragement of some countries [i.e. Israel – the author].”

Belarus – “I am Eurasian”

As for Belarus the Eurasian Union has to be mentioned mainly in regard of our topic. The Union – officially called Eurasian Economic Union – as a multilateral treaty has come into the force on January 1, 2015. Its member states are Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

I will not cover the role of Belarus within the Union due to scope of our subject. Nevertheless, the Russian connection is needed to be emphasized regarding the Jobbik if we are looking after the formal cooperation status with these countries.

Mr. Vona has repeatedly stressed out that if they would come to power in Hungary, the government would enhance the relation with the Eurasian Union member states. Moreover, the leader of the party stated that “Hungary could have a mediatory role between Asia and Europe”.

As has been emphasized the advantage of Eurasianism is that it leaves a kind of autonomy and continental cooperation of the various regions as opposed to the oppression of the European Union.


As mentioned, Jobbik has its own foreign policy strategy which could be summarized as to break with the mainstream foreign policy. Alas, (to Jobbik), the majority of the Hungarian Parliament and the Government of Hungary has almost the same foreign affairs fundamentals (at least with the Eastern Opening program), therefore the advantages would always be at the majority.

However, as Mr. Kapcsos – my colleague at the International Centre for Democratic Transition – stated in his article published on Charter 97: “For Moscow, parties like Jobbik serve as a perfect tool to channel Russian propaganda and by thus influence politics and public opinion in EU countries”.

The reason why I am highlighting the abstract of the article is that when we are examining the foreign policy of the Jobbik, especially to the EaP region, we need to know that for sure there is one consistent part in it: Russia.

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