The April 2018 parliamentary elections in Hungary resulted in a landslide victory for Fidesz and its junior coalition partner KDNP The national-conservative coalition, in power since 2010, had won its third supermajority in a row – two-thirds of all seats in parliament. In July of the same year, Viktor Orbán, the prime minister of Hungary, held a speech in Tusnádfürdő (Băile Tuşnad), Romania. He stated that he had been mandated by the people for the “building of a new era” and that the focus of this undertaking ought to be the Pannonian (Carpathian) Basin region. In the words of the Hungarian Prime Minister:
Once more we are strong, we are determined, we are brave, and we have our vigor, money and resources. […] Now is the time to rebuild the Carpathian Basin. We have a proposal for our neighbors. […] [A]t last we should connect our countries together – once and for all, and with serious intent. Let us connect our major cities with high-speed rail and road links.
Upon the completion of this task, continued Orbán, or even simultaneously alongside it, an even greater task is to be accomplished, namely the “build[ing] up [of] Europe’s large, strong and secure political and economic region: Central Europe.”
During his years in power Orbán did acquire a popularity in the SEE and CE region. He built an image of himself as a strong leader determined to fight for – what he considers to be – true European values, i.e. the nation, Christianity, hard work, and the traditional family, while having the courage to say no to powers threatening the interests of his country. He also demonstrated support for politicians allied to him, gaining outright admiration from some, as in the case of Janez Janša of the Slovenian Democratic Party.