Dossier: Focus on Hungary

Dossier: Focus on Hungary

 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.

The game of hope – Asylum seekers at the Serbian-Hungarian border

Since Hungary has built the border fence, refugees have to wait for as long as a year to gain admission to the transit zone where they can file for asylum. Admission is hectic and slow and favours families and unaccompanied minors. Most of those who attempt crossing illegally are single males over 18.

By Momir Turudić

Cultures of History Forum

Public Domain.

 In this special feature of the Cultures of History Forum the authors seek to place the ‘Lex CEU’ in a broader context, both regionally and historically, and ask what the state of academic freedom, civil society and liberal values is in the countries that came out of communist dictatorships more than 25 years ago.

Please visit the website of the Cultures of History Forum for further reading.

Newest articles on Hungary

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Analysis

Viktor Orbán, facing an upcoming general election, may generate domestic political capital if the German government becomes more decisive in demanding that EU member states comply with the European Union’s migration-related regulations. 

By Edit Zgut

Hungary: a state captured by Russia

Hungary’s liaison with the Kremlin has turned the economic “Eastern Opening” into the construction of a full-blown illiberal democracy. This goes hand in hand with Russia’s growing leverage over Hungary with respect to economic as well as soft power.

By Péter Krekó, Lóránt Győri

Orbán’s theatrical struggle against big, bad Berlin

Orbán tries to destroy Germany’s positive image in Central Eastern Europe, depicting Germany as the capital of the decadent, liberal, pro-immigration EU that is doomed to fail. Tolerating such a behaviour would be a huge long-term strategic mistake for Germany.

By Edit Zgut, Bulcsú Hunyadi , Péter Krekó

Hostile takeover: How Orbán is subjugating the media in Hungary

Viktor Orbán and his closest allies have taken control of most of the Hungarian media. Journalists at loyal outlets are expected to closely follow instructions from the state apparatus; in exchange, they receive advertising money from government institutions.

By Krisztian Simon, Tibor Rácz

Feature: Lex CEU - Orbán’s attack on academic freedom

On April 4th 2017, the Hungarian government passed amendments which are obviously directed against the renowned Central European University (CEU), founded by George Soros. In our feature, we collect articles on Orbán’s attack on academic freedom.

Newest Publication

Focus on Hungary: Refugees, Asylum and Migration

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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.

Further Publications

Diverging Voices, Converging Policies

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.

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The 1956 Hungarian uprising

“Shamefulness is part of the European tradition as well”

Ágnes Heller is one of the most prominent philosophers of our time. We talked with her about her experiences during the Hungarian Uprising of 1956, about the crisis in Europe and its future, and about coping with the past.

By Eva van de Rakt, Silja Schultheis

Hungarian Uprising: Blind Spot 1956

During the 1956 uprising, the coat of arms named after the Stalinist dictator Mátyás Rákosi was cut out of the national flag by revolutionaries - the ground for a workshop arranged by the artists Katharina Roters and József Szolnoki.

By Kristóf Szombati, József Szolnoki

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

Veronika Móra: “Solidarity is a very strong force”

Interview

In Hungary, NGOs are now required to register as “civic organisations funded from abroad” if they receive financial support from a foreign source. The government is trying to delegitimise any organisation that criticises certain government policies, says Veronika Móra.

By Silja Schultheis

Lex CEU: A Kafkaesque Affair

Interview

The Hungarian government’s recently adopted legislation seem to specifically target the Central European University, creating a situation of existential instability. Anna Frenyó spoke with Zsolt Enyedi, the university’s Pro-Rector for Hungarian Affairs about the latest developments.

We Will Stay and Fight

Interview

On Tuesday, 13 June, Hungary’s National Assembly passed a law that requires NGOs which receive foreign funds above the annual threshold of 24000 EUR to register and label themselves as “foreign-funded organisations” on their websites and in their publications.

By Anna Frenyó

The role of irony in the political activism of Hungarian youth

In April 2017, a series of demonstrations took place in Budapest against an amendment to the Higher Education Act. They were organised by mostly social media-based groups, but they differed in several aspects from the demonstration culture that has been the norm in Hungary in recent decades.

By Andrea Szabó

"It’s about a battle of ideas in which we have to constantly engage our opponents"

In the beginning of April, the Hungarian President János Áder signed into force certain amendments to the Higher Education Act which in their particular formulation are obviously directed against the renowned Central European University (CEU), based in Budapest. We discussed with President Michael Ignatieff the implications of the new legislation on the university and its future prospects.
By Peter Brod

Serious human rights violations in the Hungarian asylum system

Two years ago, the Hungarian government began to criminalise asylum seekers and migrants with clear political motivations. Within a few months, their initial verbal aggression and hate campaign targeting refugees had developed into actual legislative amendments which violated refugees’ rights.

By Nóra Köves

Orbán vs. the World: The Background Context of the Lex CEU

The attack on CEU is one in a series of attempts to eliminate the so-called enemies of illiberal democracy. The government has manufactured a fear-inducing narrative by inventing an imaginary enemy threatening the people of Hungary.

By Gabi Gőbl

This dossier is part of...

The Programme "Europe For Citizens" 2016

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 Publications

Interview-Series "Agents of Change"