News Release

The Heritage Foundation and Viktor Orbán


The conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation has ties with Viktor Orbán’s far-right authoritarian government in Hungary. 

HEIDI BEIRICH;, @heidibeirich, @globalextremism 
    Beirich is cofounder of the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE).

In a recent blog post, GPAHE investigates “widespread interactions between Heritage Foundation officials and Viktor Orbán’s regime,” which show a “deep relationship” between the two. Beirich told the Institute for Public Accuracy that Heritage Foundation President Kevin D. Roberts has repeatedly praised and thanked Orbán. 

Beirich also pointed out links between the Heritage Foundation and Hungarian think tanks like the Danube Institute. “They have personnel going between the think tanks… The Danube Institute characterizes itself as a think tank, but it is funded by the Hungarian government, pushes Orbán’s agenda, and justifies the positions of [his] government. It’s not only their relationship with the Heritage Foundation that is of interest.” Last year, a representative from the Institute spoke from the floor of the Tennessee State House “about traditional Judeo-Christian ideas. Their basic position is pushing Christian values and nationalism. They are exporting their ideas into the U.S. wherever they can find a foothold.” 

Orbánism is attractive to Trump and Trumpists writ large because it “reflects the reality that [Trumpists] would like to see. Orbán began attacking migration as early as 2015-2016, and then began attacking LGBTQ rights. He banned LGBTQ studies and women’s studies from universities. He has acolytes in all levels of society. He speaks of himself as a Christian nationalist, and he has suggested that Christian nationalists in the U.S. and Hungary work together. 

“This vision is exactly what Project 2025”––the plan that the Heritage Foundation has put forth to reshape the executive branch of the U.S. federal government if a Republican is elected president in 2024––“lays out. Project 2025 will roll back rights, end quote-unquote wokeism, politicize the bureaucracy, politicize the Department of Justice… Orbánism has achieved what they want to achieve in the U.S.” 

But “Project 2025 hasn’t gotten enough attention. The public needs to know that there’s a plan, and that folks in this movement have said Trump is their instrument to bring this about… Many Americans don’t know who the Heritage Foundation is, or who Orbán is. Unless you’re watching this closely, you wouldn’t connect the dots. But they’re there to be connected.”