There are ramifications of this partnership beyond Eastern and Central Europe. The post-Cold War orthodoxy was that former Soviet satellites like Hungary and post-Yugoslav countries like Serbia should adopt Western liberalism to organise their respective societies and conduct foreign policy. However, the global financial crisis upset the notion that liberal polity knows all the answers and foreign policy failures like Afghanistan are shattering the concept of liberal international order. Serbia and Hungary may not be rebuilding Central Europe, as Orbán said. However, in the age when liberalism is in crisis, many governments feel free to find their own way of doing things that may have little to do with Western liberal prescriptions.
Vuk Vuksanovic is a PhD researcher in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), an associate of LSE IDEAS, LSE’s foreign policy think tank, and a researcher at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP).
Marko Savkovic is an Executive Director at Foundation BFPE for a Responsible Society, a Belgrade-based think tank, and the Belgrade Security Forum.