Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz – Magyar Polgári Szövetség) or more commonly known as Fidesz is the current ruling political party in Hungary led by Viktor Orbán. Founded in 1988, Fidesz was initially a liberal student activist party opposing the communist regime and had a leading roll in the 1989 revolutions which led to the end of communism in the country on October 23, 1989. Throught the early-mid 90’s, The party moved it’s ideology from liberalism to conservatism.
From the mid 90’s to the mid-2010’s, it was generally considered a center-right party, However around 2015 (especially after the migration crisis started) many have begun to characterize the party as right-far right on the political spectrum due to it’s hardline stance on immigration and increasing authoritarianism of Orbán. Fidesz became a member of the European Union’s center-right group the European People’s Party (EPP) in 2000 with Hungary joining the EU in 2004. However, in March 2019, The party was suspended from the EPP due to the party’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies.
Fidesz is currently considered a national conservative party favoring interventionist policies on economic issues like handling of banks, and a strong conservative stance on social issues and European integration. Recently, the party has increasingly been described as far-right, and its ruling style has also been variously described as "soft fascism", "soft dictatorship", and "soft autocracy". The Fidesz party has denied such accusations and distanced itself from the extreme right; it has criticized such accusations as politically motivated opposition to its anti-immigrant policies and pursuit of "illiberal democracy"
Fidesz is a member of the European People's Party but was suspended on 20 March 2019. Prior to the 2019 European Parliament election, Fidesz announced it would discuss an alliance with Poland's Law and Justice party if it leaves the EPP. The two nations' conservative governments have shared a close friendship and alliance for multiple years and the Polish government has pledged political support for Fidesz-led Hungary within the EU.
Orbán and his government have gained favour with US president Donald Trump and his administration (in stark contrast to the policy of isolation practiced by the preceding Obama Admininstration). Orbán was the first European head of government to endorse Trump's presidential bid during the 2016 United States presidential election. Trump has praised Hungary's anti-immigrant policies in a discussion with Orbán. The more amiable attitude of the Trump Administration toward the Hungarian government prompted criticism and a protest by 22 Democratic Party lawmakers that called for a more disciplinary policy towards the country's government over what they perceived as a problematic track record. Steve Bannon, former head of Breitbart News and a former close associate of President Trump who had an integral role in Trump's electoral campaign and administration, has also praised Orbán and announced plans to work with Fidesz in orchestrating the party's electoral campaign for the 2019 European parliament election.
Orbán has allied closely with former Slovenian PM Janez Janša and the right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party he heads, going so far as to campaign for SDS during the 2018 Slovenian parliamentary election. Businesspeople close to Orbán also provided funds to SDS-affiliated media companies that then also used some of the funds to purchase campaign ads on behalf of SDS to circumvent Slovenian campaign finance laws. After the election, and while SDS was struggling to secure political support to form a coalition government, Janša again met with Orbán on a private visit to Budapest; during the meeting, Orbán also conducted a conference call with US president Trump with Janša joining in. SDS's unconditional backing of Fidesz within the EPP was reportedly pivotal in preventing Fidesz's expulsion from EPP, resulting in a more lenient suspension. In a letter to EPP leader, Janša warned of an "inevitable" split in the EPP if the vote to expel Fidesz were to take place.
Orbán has also fostered close political ties with right-wing VMRO-DPMNE politician and former Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski. While awaiting a ruling on an appeal to a corruption conviction in early 2019, Gruevski fled to Hungary to evade a looming jail sentence. The whereabouts of Gruevski were revealed only 4 days after he failed to report to serve his prison sentence. Macedonian officials have suggested that Gruevski (for whom an international arrest warrant had been issued) was in contact with Hungarian officials in the days preceding his flight, and Macedonian authorities have launched an investigation into whether Gruevski was transported across the border in a Hungarian diplomatic vehicle. The Hungarian government denied accusations of impropriety. Hungarian businesspeople close to Orbán - the same that have previously invested into Slovenian right-wing media - have also entered into ownership of Macedonian right-wing media companies, propping up outlets friendly to Gruevski and his party.
Orbán has a warm relationship with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and his Serbian Progressive Party, with the Hungarian Foreign Minister campaigning for Vučić before the 2017 Serbian presidential election. Companies close to the Orbán government have won public contracts with the Serbian government. The Serbian government has also been accused of taking a similar approach to the Hungarian government towards the media.
Orbán and his government have also fostered close ties with the Israeli Likud government under Benjamin Netanyahu, with the two heads of state forging a cordial relationship, having known one another for decades. Netanyahu advised Orbán on economic reforms conducted by the Hungarian government in the early 2000s. Netanyahu later extended public political support to Orbán at a time when Orbán was confronting criticism for praising Miklós Horthy, Hungary's former leader, whose government passed anti-Jewish legislation and collaborated with Nazi Party and for allegedly employing anti-Semitic tropes in his criticism of George Soros. The Israeli foreign ministry issued a statement condemning Soros in a show of solidarity with the Orbán government. A Likud lawmaker also introduced legislation modeled on Fidesz's "Stop Soros law" in the Israeli Knesset.