Jobbik, The Movement for a Better Hungary (Hungarian: Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom) commonly known as Jobbik, is a Hungarian radical nationalist political party. The party describes itself as "a principled, conservative and radically patriotic Christian party", whose "fundamental purpose" was the protection of "Hungarian values and interests." Measured according to its representation in the European Parliament and the National Assembly, it is Hungary's third largest party.
Originally established in 2002 as the Right-Wing Youth Association (Jobboldali Ifjúsági Közösség – JOBBIK) by a group of catholic and protestant university students, Jobbik was eventually founded as a political party in October 2003. Instrumental in this was the person of Gergely Pongrátz, who in a speech to the founding conference stated, “The torch is now falling from our hands, it is you who must take it up, that spirit, those values, for which so many brother-in-arms died in ’56. It is you who must take it onwards.”
The fledgling political party found support in a minority nationalist sentiment, which rejected the more extremist (and then more popular) views of MIÉP. Whereas MIÉP’s nationalism was racial with regards to Magyar identity, irredentist in its Carpathian foreign policy, and at best ambivalent towards violence as a political tool (being at times openly neo-Fascist and neo-Nazi); in contrast Jobbik’s definition of Magyar identity was essentially cultural, its approach to Pannonian issues (despite being marked by significant rhetoric) more one of cross-border ethnic self-determination, while it rejected violence in favour of support for democracy (being essentially Traditionalist and Christian democratic).
Jobbik demonstrated their commitment to the latter with the nationwide erection of crosses to mark the Christmas of 2003, in a reaffirmation of the country’s Christian heritage. The move was greeted by Christian academics with some hesitation, given the more correct theological association of the crucifixion with Easter. In a traditionalist move the party also chose to adopt what they saw as the oldest emblem of Hungarian national identity: the Stripes of the House of Árpád; to whose rehabilitation they remain dedicated. This was later subject to considerable international controversy, despite the flag's prominence on the Hungarian Coat of Arms. By 2004 Jobbik was the only Hungarian political party openly skeptical of accession to the EU, its motto at the time being: “Hungary: Viable, Proud, Independent.”