“Demographic summit” in Budapest: the biannual meeting of the ultra-conservatives

This is the fourth edition of the “Demography Summit” in Budapest, organized every two years by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, since 2015. Behind this generic title actually hides a reference to far-right theory of the “great replacement”, to which most of its participants adhere. No surprise therefore, to find there this year the possible French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, in the midst of figures of the identity rights and / or populists, from all over Europe and even the United States.

The demographic concern is well founded, in Hungary as in several other countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The post-Soviet upheavals, as well as a strong emigration towards the west, deprive their economies of local labor, and the fall of the birth rate is very real. The analysis made by the leaders present around Viktor Orban is however the pretext for a well-known ideology: the low birth rate would be a kind of precondition before massive immigration from the Arab-Muslim world.

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Immigration and “culture shock”

Viktor Orban cites at length as (bad) examples, the countries of Western Europe … “Some in the West believe that immigration will stop the demographic decline “, he launched during the opening speech, Thursday, September 23, “but they do not take into account the culture shock”. “A country is only viable if its citizens share the same values”, hammered the Hungarian Prime Minister, warning: “Otherwise, Europe will collapse”.

Without ever quoting the term “great replacement” by the speakers, it is in everyone’s mind, a fortiori when some of its French supporters, such as Eric Zemmour or Marion Maréchal, take the place of guests of honor.

The presentation page of the official website of the “Demography Summit”, placed this year under the sign of “durability” welcomes the progress made in Hungary since the accession to power of Viktor Orban in 2010. “Hungary has already shown signs of success”, trumpet the text, “since the fertility rate and the number of marriages have increased the most in Europe, while the number of divorces and abortions are decreasing”. Former US Vice President Mike Pence has indeed come to extol the benefits of the fight against abortion: “Legalizing abortion has contributed to the demographic decline”, he said from the podium.

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According to the organizers, Hungary has even become a “example”, which many other countries come to consult. In reality, the time would rather be for disillusionment. The biannual Budapest raid now brings together only second knives or aspirants: Trump, Salvini or Netanyahu, close or occasional allies of Orban, have all left power, while the British friends have been estranged by Brexit. The former Israeli prime minister, first announced, also withdrew at the last moment.

The scarecrow of the migratory waves generated by the Syrian conflict, which crossed Europe from east to west, also seems to have fizzled out. Viktor Orban himself, for the first time since 2010, is heading towards an election he is not sure of winning: the opposition has finally united, and could succeed in returning to power next May.

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