On 14 May 2010, exactly a decade ago, the sixth freely elected parliament convened thereby finishing the work that had begun twenty years earlier. In the new parliament, the Fidesz and KDNP factions won two-thirds of the seats as a result of the electoral system established in 1989, and their election program became the official program of the government of Viktor Orbán, who was elected prime minister two weeks later. During the decade of civil governance, 95 percent of the 2010 targets and commitments have been met.
During the 2010 change of government, Hungary was going through an economic and moral crisis, healthcare was pushed into the background, social policy was reproducing poverty, and democratic norms were being severely violated. The government program announcing the “policy of national affairs” was intended to respond to the economic, public safety, healthcare, social policy and rule of law challenges Hungary was facing in 2010.
- The most important economic achievement has been the creation of 800 000 new jobs. Turning the formerly welfare based society into one rooted in secure employment was one of the conditions of civic transformation. From the reduction of bureaucracy through the provision of corporate and municipal resources to opening the economy to the east, all implemented measures have made the Hungarian economy more resilient and Hungarian families more self-sufficient.
- The public’s perception of the Hungarian police force and the sense of security of Hungarian families have been restored after 2010. The number of crimes has halved and the focus has shifted from the protection of perpetrators to that of the victims of crime.
- Healthcare workers have been provided with a long term perspective through the creation of lifelong career models, assistance provided for the development of practices, and raising wages throughout the industry.
- In order to create predictable livelihood security, the purchase value of pensions has been increased; 36 000 families have escaped foreclosure of their homes; employment and childbearing have been made more compatible; and the social security tax burden has been reduced.
Although 5 percent of the government program’s objectives are still being implemented, at least as many measures have been successfully employed since 2010 in response to new challenges, which were not or could not have been made part of the agenda in 2010. The last ten years have seen, among other things, the introduction of a system-wide reduction in utilities expense, for the first time since the regime change, making use of the savings generated by domestically owned strategic companies; a massive investment in the armed forces adhering to NATO guidelines, and the examplary series of economic whitening measures and Europe’s most extensive family support system.
The government’s success over the past decade and the continuation of expectations beyond 2022 is evidenced by the fact that according to 70 percent of Hungarians, Viktor Orbán may still remain the head of government after 2022. Backed by the support of 46 percent of Hungarians, the Prime Minister is more popular than all potential opposition candidates combined.