Politico Europe has once again revealed its annual ranking of the most influential people in Europe. Among the list of 28, both Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his opposition challenger Péter Márki-Zay can be found.
This year, Mario Draghi was ranked Europe’s overall most influential political figure. Additionally, the lineup was divided into three categories, each representing a different type of power. There are the “doers,” those with the greatest ability to exert influence; the “disrupters,” who are most likely to overturn the status quo; and the “dreamers,” whose ideas are driving European politics and policies.
Among Politico’s Hungarian picks, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán once again appears. This year, he is ranked fifth in the category of disrupters, with a brief description under his name as “the man to beat.” Polish conservative politician, Donald Tusk, tops the category, followed by WTO Director-General, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, and Bellingcat founder and investigative journalist, Eliot Higgins.
According to Politico, the Hungarian prime minister faces his toughest election since he took office in 2010, and a victory would crown him as the EU’s longest-serving head of government. However, a defeat would have many in Brussels breathing a sigh of relief, the news site adds.
The Brussels-based outlet also noted that regardless of whether Orbán succeeds in securing his power, his “anti-Brussels nationalism has been infectious, inspiring regimes in Slovenia and Poland.” Therefore, the main question is how far he is willing to push Brussels if he wins next year’s elections.
Viktor Orbán’s challenger, the joint opposition’s candidate for prime minister, Péter Márki-Zay, was placed on the list of dreamers, also in fifth place, labeled simply as the “standard-bearer.” Besides Márki-Zay, this category includes, for example, Paris mayor, Anne Hidalgo (who tops the list), EC President, Ursula von der Leyen, and Lithuanian FM, Gabrielius Landsbergis.
Despite the national media being government-friendly and the opposition alliance behind him being loose, Márki-Zay was able to go neck and neck in the polls with the governing parties. As a result, he became the unlikely great hope for Eurocrats tired of watching Orbán stomp all over their agenda, as Politico describes the mayor of Hódmezővásárhely.