Jobbik-Movement for a Better Hungary was formed as a party in October 2003 from the movement of the same name. The creators of the movement were primarily conservative university students and there are still many young people among its supporters. However, it is not a generational organization; nationally and locally known politicians and experts have joined its ranks since the beginning. The crippled state of the conservatives following their unexpected defeat in the 2002 election played a role in the transformation of Jobbik into a party. Another was the recognition of the failure of the entire Hungarian political elite considering the tasks undertaken in 1990. Jobbik writes about themselves on their website (Jobbik 2011). However, scholars labelled the party variously as (neo) fascist, anti-Roma, anti-Semitic and homophobic; the party of course denied this. Jobbik was created as a social movement and its official political start-up took some time. At first it seemed that compared to MIÉP (Hungarian Truth and Life Party, Magyar Igazság és Élet Pártja) Jobbik was more modernist and less radical. It was possible to discern a difference in the rhetoric and proposed actions and ideas, between the “hard” approach of MIÉP and the “soft” approach of Jobbik. However, the gradual radicalization of Jobbik brought its own fruits and Jobbik began to be more popular thanks to its radicalization. With the foundation of its own paramilitary organisation, It was clear that any description of Jobbik's “soft measure approach” towards national politics was no longer appropriate. In 2004 Jobbik was one of the few parties in Hungary not in favour of joining the EU, promoting instead an independent and proud Hungary. The first relevant election that Jobbik participated in was in 2006 but as a marginal political party – Jobbik formed a coalition with the far-right MIÉP and Harmadik Út, the MIÉP-Jobbik-Harmadik Út coalition. The coalition gained 2.2% in the election and broke up afterwards. The demonstrations in 2006 against the former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány of the socialist MSZP were for Jobbik a catalyst towards the main nationwide arena. Jobbik activists and supporters were very active during the demonstrations and gained public visibility. It could be interpreted as evidence that economical troubles can be a breeding ground for nationalism. The autonomous nationalistic connection to Europe can also be seen in the party's affiliation within a European political group. Jobbik is a member, even the founder, of the EANM Alliance of European National Movements. However, the Jobbik members of the European Parliament are not affiliated to any parliament faction and have remained non-aligned.
Electoral manifesto 2010
Jobbik's election program of 2010 is even more complex than the European manifesto, though it harks back to the same ideological and philosophical roots and bases. Nationalism is the leading principle that cuts across all relevant and possible spheres of politics and society in the opinion of Jobbik. Even the economic approach of Jobbik is defined as 'Eco-Social National Economy'. According to the party, the economic system should serve the interests of Hungary and provide both an environment and the living standards that people deserve. The state should not only redistribute wealth but also promote national economic actors. Neo-liberal economic policies should be replaced by protectionism and the defence of national businesses, farmers and production. Natural resources should be defended as well, and national wealth should be fostered and protected. For Jobbik, the Hungarian economy means the whole area of the Carpathian basin, as well as areas populated by Hungarians living abroad – Jobbik refers to this as the Hungarian economic zone. Hungary's debts should be tackled and loans should be made possible in the future only to projects that support the national economy. Home businesses should be protected and no advantages should be given to international capital in Hungary. The national economy would also need a strong nation-serving bank which should outweigh the multinational banks' ownership of traditional banks in Hungary. In short, an economy of national protectionism and anti-liberalism, one that is anti-transnational companies and that is environmentally and socially friendly should be installed. Agriculture is very important for Jobbik and food self-sufficiency is required, as well as “going local” food markets. A land law should be prepared that ensures that land can be sold only to Hungarians, and young Hungarian local farmers will have the right of first refusal. The countryside should be repopulated by young people taking care of nature cultivation. This nationalistic asset is the leitmotif in all sectors as mentioned above. Even the countryside is seen through the prism of a national appeal, as is done also by some Slovak nationalist parties – this is something, for example, which in the Czech Republic would not feature in any political discussion. Nationalism is connected to historicism, rooting in Christianity and ancient culture and philosophy. National pride, national values, national unity, national awareness, patriotism, national justice, national interests, statehood, the ius sanguis approach – all of these touchstone categories are leading to more radical categories such as national messianic, national fatalism and the claim for “Big Hungary” bringing to one national state all the Hungarians for blood. Hand in hand with the Big Hungary goal is also condemnation of the Beneš Decrees as one of the historical injustices meted out to the Hungarian nation, as well as the revision of the Trianon Treaty and post world war orders.