The Conservative Political Action Conference was held outside the US for the first time, in Budapest, in one of Europe's last hopes.
From Balkan InsightHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban got together with right-wing populists and some hardcore US Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held on Thursday and Friday in Budapest. The event – its first time in Europe – was originally planned for March as a means to boost Orban’s electoral campaign, but was delayed due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
CPAC in Hungary was organised by the pro-government think tank the Center for Fundamental Rights, funded recently to the tune of more than 5 million euros with taxpayer money. It had invited Donald Trump and Marine Le Pen, but they both chose to stay away. Speakers who did make it included former Pennsylvanian senator Rick Santorum (R); former Czech president Vaclav Klaus; Herbert Kickl, chairman of the Austrian Freedom Party; and influential US TV host Tucker Carlson. In his keynote speech, a visibly satisfied Orban called Hungary “a lab which shows how to fight successfully against leftist progressive forces”. To be successful, he said, it’s vital to have not only your own media, but also think tanks and other institutions to spread your message that “progressives are threatening Western civilisation”.