The aim of this paper is to provide a detailed overview of the domestic policy changes affecting privately owned businesses in Hungary during the reign of the 2nd and 3rd Orbán governments. After careful selection and omission of the less important measures, 36 examples are discussed. Their common characteristics are their discriminatory nature, meaning that they supported some firms and/or state-owned entities, while other businesses - chiefly the ones owned by foreign investors - were negatively affected. These new laws, regulations, by-laws or daily practices were openly in conflict with the letters and the spirit of the acquis communautaire - the guiding principles of the European Union. The Hungarian authorities played on time. Their assumption was - and this assumption did prove to be correct in practice - that it would take years until the EU machinery would reach a verdict and instruct Hungary, as a member-state to repel the given legislation. An important finding of the paper is that in 16 cases out of the 36 cases presented, the previous Hungarian governments also relied on such discriminatory solutions, but these cases were not so costly for the targeted private businesses and were not implemented with such a brutal force. As it is well-known, parallel to the policy measures discussed in the paper, the 2nd and 3rd Orbán-governments proceeded with a broad renationalization policy as well. These events were discussed at great length in Mihályi (2015a).
Hungary discriminatory economic policy populism Hungary's conflict with the European Union