In Hungary the success of the far right is to a large extent due to their effective exploitation of Roma issues. The first electoral success for Jobbik (Hungary’s main far right party) came in the European elections in 2009; a year later they captured 16% of the vote in parliamentary elections in Hungary. At the same time a growing number of extra-parliamentary and sometimes paramilitary groups have also become active, some with close links to Jobbik. Support for the radical right doubled between 2002 and 2009. There are numerous factors behind the rapid rise and success of the far right in Hungary: mistrust toward democratic in stitutions, the state, and politics in general. Xenophobic attitudes rooted in the dominant definition of the Hungarian nation as mono-cultural and mono-ethnic can also be viewed as a determinant (but also as an effect) of the rise of the extreme right. More generally, economic decline, poor governance, inter ethnic tensions and the media's handling of the issue have contributed to strengthening the radical right. The mainstream political actors and the media have responded to Jobbik discourses on Roma, but often in ways that fail to challenge some of the fundamental assumptions about the Roma.
Our analysis of media and public debate discourses revealed important and interrelated developments:
racist language was incresingly unchallenged,
voices of tolerance have been increasingly marginalized.