Attitudes to Europe : Ideology, Strategy and the Issue of European Union Membership in Hungarian Party Politics
525 - 539
The objective of the article is to assess the extent to which party ideology and strategic incentives account for political parties' attitudes to European integration in one of the East Central European EU-applicant countries, Hungary. Starting with general propositions regarding the relationship between particular ideological strands and orientations to European integration, the main focus of the article is on individual parties' policies and rhetoric on the EU as shaped by the dynamic context of the party system. The Hungarian case suggests that, while ideology structures underlying attitudes to integration, parties' predispositions are not directly translated into a corresponding policy of supporting or rejecting membership per se: the parties are constrained by their own early pro-European rhetoric as well as short-term competitive pressures and the need to be acceptable as coalition partners.