For all those who have complained that in economic policy the Fidesz-government is all about stopgap measures and improvisation, there is now the Széchenyi Plan, a fairly elaborate strategic vision of economic policy going forward. For starters, it is important to point out that already the choice of name proclaims a continuity with the Fidesz’ previous term in power, when the first Széchenyi Plan was launched.
Importantly, the 2010 document also marks a continuity with the Fidesz’ suggested policies in opposition. The plan reiterates one of the Fidesz’ key promises, namely that a million legal, taxpaying jobs will be produced within a decade. Those would indeed be sorely needed, given Hungary’s second-to-last position in the EU in terms of employment.
Nevertheless, when it comes to the nitty-gritty details, the differences are not as pronounced as the rhetoric suggests. As several commentators have noted already, just like the Széchenyi Plan designates seven priority areas as the main venues for government action, Gordon Bajnai also spoke of the need for focusing the government’s attention on certain policy areas.
Policy Solutions’ analysis on the Fidesz government’s new economic plan can be downloaded from here.
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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