Viktor Orbán’s CV
Viktor Orbán was born on 31 May 1963 in the small Hungarian village of Alcsútdoboz. In 1977 his family moved to Székesfehérvár, where he finished his grammar-school studies specializing in English.
In 1983, as a student at the Faculty of Law of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, he was a founding member of Bibó College. A year later with his fellow students he founded Századvég, a journal of social sciences, and became one of its editors. He graduated as a lawyer in 1987.
From 1988 he was a member of the Central-Eastern Europe study group, a programme financed by the Soros Foundation. In 1989–1990 Viktor Orbán studied the history of British liberal political philosophy in Pembroke College, Oxford, sponsored by the Soros Foundation.
On 30 March 1988, as a founding member of the Federation of Young Democrats (Fidesz), he became a politician well-known throughout the Western world for his commitment to an independent and democratic Hungary free of privileges, and an advocate of joining the Euro-Atlantic alliance.
On 16 June 1989 at the reburial ceremony of former Prime Minister Imre Nagy, who was executed after leading the Hungarian revolution and uprising in October 1956, Viktor Orbán made a speech in which he demanded that all Soviet troops be immediately withdrawn from Hungary, and that free elections be held. He was a member of the delegation to the Opposition Roundtable in the summer of 1989.
Viktor Orbán has been an MP since the first free elections following the political changes in 1990.
In May 1993 he was elected chairman of Fidesz. Under his leadership the party changed its profile from a radical youth movement to a moderate, centre-right people’s party. He was elected vice-chairman of the Liberal International at its 1992 congress in Mainz, Germany, then a member of its Executive Committee in January, 1993.
Following the victory at the polls in 1998, Viktor Orbán became the prime minister of the centre-right coalition of Hungary. The civic government carried out a number of projects to improve the living standards of families by granting tax-allowances, and boosted the economy by programmes supporting small and medium-sized enterprises, and a student credit system was also introduced. During his mandate the Mária-Valéria bridge connecting Hungary with neighbouring Slovakia, which was bombed in World War II, was rebuilt from its ruins and a new National Theatre was also constructed. Due to a successful economic policy, rising incomes along with a constantly low inflation rate, decreasing budget deficit and public debt, by the year 2002 Hungary was ready to join the Euro-zone in 4 years’ time. In March 1999 Hungary became a member of NATO.
In October 2002 Orbán was elected vice-chairman of the European People’s Party, and the following year chairman of Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union.
Viktor Orbán holds numerous international awards. In May 2001 he received the Freedom Award of the American Enterprise Institute and the New Atlantic Initiative in Washington, D.C. As of August 2001 he holds the Polak Award of the Maria Polak Foundation, and in November 2001 he received the Franz-Josef Strauß award granted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.
Viktor Orbán was the first person to be given the Saint Stephan prize in September 2002 in the Hungarian city of Esztergom. The Foundation of Mérite Européen awarded him its golden medal in March 2004.
Viktor Orbán is married to Anikó Lévai, they have five children.
Since his childhood Viktor Orbán has been a keen sportsman; he is currently a signed player of a division two football team and a founder of the Ferenc Puskás Foundation for young football players, created in April 2007.