Report: MEPs from Central Europe. A Bulwark Against Authoritarianism

IGA has contributed to the newly released report MEPs from Central Europe: A Bulwark Against Authoritarianism, published by Political Capital (Hungary). The publication examines the voting stances of MEPs from 7 Central European countries (Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, Bulgaria and Romania) on resolutions condemning authoritarian regime actions around the world, particularly the regimes in Russia and China, over the course of the 2019-2024 term of the European Parliament.

  • The key conclusions show that the majority of MEPs from mainstream center-right and center-left parties occupy voting stances critical of authoritarian states. In contrast, the far right, far left, authoritarian-leaning incumbents such as Fidesz in Hungary and Smer in Slovakia as well as the BSP party, part of the opposition in Bulgaria, express supportive positions.
  • Dr. Rumena Filipova’s chapter on Bulgarian MEPs’ stances demonstrates that the majority of Sofia’s European representatives also vote in favor of Russia- and China-critical resolutions.
  • The Bulgarian Socialist Party, however, stands out in that it deviates most starkly from both its Bulgarian counterparts and its own European political family, the Progressive Alliance of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in assuming voting stances that are much less critical of Moscow and Beijing. This most frequently takes place through non-participation or abstention from voting on resolutions that condemn authoritarian states’ actions.
  • The chapter on Bulgaria further discusses the interrelation between the domestic and European-level stances on the part of political parties.