On Monday, the ruling party in Hungary displayed billboards demonizing Ursula Von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, making her a personal target for the first time in a campaign reminiscent of the one against her predecessor that infuriated Brussels.
The billboards, which were put up overnight to kick off a campaign for the European parliamentary election in June of next year, feature Von der Leyen next to Alex Soros, the liberal investor George Soros’s son, who was born in Hungary and has always been a target of hate from Orban’s Fidesz Party.
“Let’s not dance to their tunes” is the slogan. Given that Soros is Jewish, some critics see his prominent position in Fidesz propaganda as proof of anti-Semitism, something the party vehemently disputes.
In 2019, Brussels chastised similar billboards featuring Von der Leyen’s predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, next to the older Soros. Fidesz took them down after the significant center-right EPP group in the European Parliament threatened to oust the Hungarian party. In two years, Fidesz departed from the EPP.
Attempting to restore billions of euros in EU funding that Brussels has blocked due to Fidesz’s policies, Orban’s administration declared on Saturday that Hungary “must say no to the current Europe model built in Brussels.”
The next EU summit is scheduled for mid-December. Hungary is predicted to be a significant emphasis point because it is the EU member most receptive to Russia and skeptical of plans to give Ukraine a road to join the bloc.
On Friday, Orban distributed a survey to Hungarians asking if the EU should give Ukraine additional funding or admit it as a member.