The impact of populist radical right parties is generally linked to their positive electoral performance. However, this party family may unleash effects in the political process irrespective of the number of seats they hold in parliament. This contribution primarily addresses the impact of the populist radical right parties on Bulgarian, Hungarian, and Slovak policy competition. By means of expert surveys, this study suggests that populist radical right parties play a role in conditioning shifts in their respective party systems – at least as far as minority issues are concerned. In this respect, mainstream competitors’ response to the populist radical right is gradual and mostly passive; yet, once the agenda of the populist radical right is set, its effects are likely to withstand the specific electoral results of these parties.