Dossier: Focus on Hungary

Dossier: Focus on Hungary

A group of protester with a banner Greenpeace in Hungary
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An underreported aspect of Viktor Orbán’s rule is the harm Fidesz is doing to the environment. Due to urban development projects all over Budapest, thousands of healthy trees are in danger of being cut down.

Memorial in Budapest
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What purposes does the remembrance of 1956 serve in Hungary today? A commentary about Hungarian politics of memory.

About: The Heinrich Böll Foundation has been compiling a dossier containing articles on the situation in Hungary since the right-wing government came to power in April 2010. The dossier is understood as forum for critical voices from Hungary. Their contributions reflect the socio-political changes in Hungary referring to current trends as well as long-term developments. (Teaser-Foto: Gabriella Csoszo)

Silja Schultheis, Editor of the dossier (silja.schultheis@cz.boell.org)

Newest Publication

The study analyses the Hungarian Government’s rhetoric and policy measures with regard to refugee, asylum and migration issues and  shows how democratic opposition parties, the far-right, and civil society actors have responded to the Government’s anti-refugee policies.

Videos: 1956 - The Hungarian Uprising

The official commemorations
The official commemorations of the 1956 uprising provide a window onto the state rituals and the symbolic politics of the right-wing government. Cultural anthropologist Gergely Pulay gives a commentary on the events that took place on 22-23 October, 2016 in Budapest.

Lessons for today
What is the relevance of 1956 for younger generations? We asked a slammer, a historian and university students to share their views.

The forgotten narrative
Why was 1956 more than just a freedom struggle against Soviet occupation? Historian Márkus Keller and '56er' András Bíró explain the role of Workers' Councils and forgotten dimensions of the revolution.

1956 from a feminist perspective
Women rarely appear as agents in their own right in official and lay narratives. We asked feminist scholar Andrea Pető to highlight women's role and motivations for taking part in the uprising.

Further articles on Hungary

Demonstration in Budapest, 1956
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In October 1956, Hungarian citizens staged a popular uprising to protest against the repressive policies of the Communist Party and against the country’s occupation by the Soviet Army. On 11 November 1956, Soviet forces quashed the last pockets of armed resistance in the capital city.

 2016 Hungarian Referendum. Posters of the government in Zichyújfalu, Hungary
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What comes after the failed referendum in Hungary? Political scientist Bulcsú Hunyadi about Orbáns objectives and about Hungarians who are tired of the migration topic.

Last edition of the Népszabadság
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Hungary’s largest left-wing political daily, Népszabadság, has shut down unexpectedly, and it is more than likely that this development is linked to the governing Fidesz party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Independent journalists are not giving up, however, despite the ruling party’s tightening grip on the media.

Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán
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Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán and his ruling party Fidesz failed with their referendum to obstruct the EU’s effort to impose an obligatory quota scheme for the resettlement of refugees. However, they could benefit from this defeat in domestic policies. A commentary.

Billboard of the Two Tailed Dog Party
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The government’s hate campaign against the refugees will soon achieve its goal: on October 2, Hungarians will cast their votes in an unnecessary, expensive and inhumane referendum.

Further Publications

The annexation of Crimea in March 2014 and the launch of a hybrid war against Ukraine was Russia’s answer to the revolution triggered by Euromaidan. In order to explain the differing reactions of individual Visegrad countries, the offices of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung in Prague and Warsaw asked their partner organisations to systematically analyse how these countries have dealt with the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung has commissioned the second volume of a study to examine the political choices of the Hungarian youth. The scope of this study has been extended to include the political involvement and attitudes of that part of the Hungarian youth who already are emigrating or are planning to soon move abroad.

Agents of Change

This dossier is part of...

Creator: hbs. All rights reserved.

The programme "Europe for Citizens" aims to make the European Union, its institutions, committees, workings, and representatives, more visible and comprehensible to Europe's citizens.

Further articles

Photo of the uhngarian flag and the european flag
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While Great Britain’s future departure from the European Union is a sizable loss to Hungary in both political and economic terms, the Hungarian government is trying to cash in on increasing popular dissatisfaction with Brussels.

A action figure of a green troll
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Putinist trolls are having a good time in Hungary these days. Articles published by pro-Kremlin, anti-immigrant news sites are shared by thousands of readers, often mistaken for actual news stories. Objective journalism has thus been degraded to just one of many possible narratives for interpreting the world around us.

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The Hungarian government will hold a referendum in order to signal to Brussels that refugees are not welcome in Hungary. The referendum cannot influence EU policies, and may not even be legal.

Protest in Hungary 2016
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On 13 February, tens of thousands of people demonstrated in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest. The protest was organised by school teachers, but a number of other unions joined the initiative to express their solidarity.

Transit zone in Hungary
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Declaring Serbia a safe third country was the first of Hungarian repeated violations of human rights. Hungary turned the humanitarian crisis into a purely political issue. It seems that Europe too will choose to follow the politics of closed doors.

closed Hungarian border
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Xenophobia and efforts to turn public opinion against “social welfare migrants” are not a new invention. But the fact that every solution that comes from the EU is ignored – this is something new.

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It remains to be seen whether the majority decision on the redistribution of 120,000 refugees was a clever move. In Central Eastern Europe, the voices against the “dictate of the majority” cannot be ignored.

Röszke, Hungary, September 2015
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A special EU summit of heads of state and government will take place on 23 September. After years of neglect, however, a solidary EU refugee policy cannot be elaborated in summary proceedings and under pressure. A commentary by Eva van de Rakt.

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After images of Budapest’s Keleti train station illustrating the need for a fast EU assistance programme for refugees: the governments of Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia reaffirmed their vehement “no” to refugee quotas.

Demonstration in Budapest
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From my hotel room in Budapest at the weekend, I followed the images of Germany’s Willkommenskultur, the country’s policy and manner of welcoming refugees and migrants. They have now been granted permission to travel via Austria to Germany.

Further Publications

cover political orientations

Nearly 25 years have passed since the collapse of communism in Hungary. Has this period allowed for the emergence of a new generation of democrats? Empirical findings from Andrea Szabó.

enthusiastic consumers non committed democrats

Political socialization has been an absolute failure in the new Hungarian democracy. Facts and figures from "Political Capital - Policy Research & Consulting Institute" in co-operation with Heinrich Böll Stiftung.

Photo: Gabriella Csoszo. All rights reserved.