The EU’s problem is that others are following the illiberal regimes of Hungary and in Poland, and it is possible that among them be Germany, writes George Friedman.
Over the past several years, Hungary and Poland have been heavily criticized within the European Union. Both have been scolded, but neither have had sanctions imposed against them. The charge against them is that they have moved in the direction of repression. Since 2010, the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has been criticized for, in the view of its critics, impeding on press freedoms and independence of the judiciary, as well as undermining checks and balances and the rule of law. In Poland, after coming to power in October 2015, the new government of the Law and Justice party has introduced laws that, according to its critics, limit the independence of the media. Moreover, the government triggered a constitutional crisis when it took steps that undermined the ability of the Constitutional Tribunal to function. In addition, both countries have come under attack for opposing large-scale immigration.