Hungary’s current position on European integration favours the “loose federation of strong nation-states” model, putting strong limitations on moving towards deeper integration and strengthening European strategic autonomy (ESA). We can observe a duality of conceptually recognising the need to enhance European capabilities of action, on the one hand, while deliberately opposing many steps in policy-making, institutional reforms, and practical decisions that would enable this, on the other. ESA is mostly interpreted narrowly, focusing on defence. The areas that bear political support are European Union enlargement, crisis management, and defence industrial collaboration. While substantial military capability development has been taking place since 2016, defence efforts remained NATO-centred. The 2022 Russian aggression against Ukraine has once again highlighted that the Orbán government is willing to pursue distinctive national goals that diverge from the European mainstream. Consequently, signs of foreign policy isolation can be observed, making progress on ESA even more challenging.