Meanwhile, the forerunner of the “conservative counter-revolution” in Central and Eastern Europe, Viktor Orbán, also presents an ambivalent attitude towards the EU, however with a more pragmatic approach. Hungary has so far avoided punitive measures designed to discipline member states that go astray. Orbán’s pragmatism is reflected in Hungary building investment bridges with Russia or seeking infrastructure and industrial partnership within the Chinese One Belt, One Road initiative. Orbán is aware of the benefits the EU membership brought Hungary, but at the same time he has his vision of the European Union, favouring less federalisation over more sovereignty of the member states and selective integration proceeding only in chosen fields, making him a possible ally for Poland.
Even if the impression of the “troublesome” V4 was strengthened by Poland and Hungary, the Czech and Slovak attitudes towards the EU are not alike. In Czechia, the centrist-populist Ano party won parliamentary elections in October 2017, shortly followed by the triumphant re-election of the outspoken populist candidate, Miloš Zeman. However, it is not clear which path the country will choose, as the new prime minister, Andrej Babiš, is still on the mission of forming a cabinet that would finally win the confidence vote. As of now, a possible coalition with Social Democrats (ČSSD) is under discussion, a party with a clearly pro-Western (pro-EU and pro-NATO) course; however, a future with this kind of coalition is not certain, as a third junior coalition partner would still be needed.