Political Renewal

On 19 April 2017 Anna Donáth, Barnabás Kádár and Anna Orosz, three leaders of Momentum Movement, were the guests of HES. 

  • IMG 0085
    Györgyi Kocsis, Anna Donáth, István Hegedűs, Barnabás Kádár, Anna Orosz
  • IMG 0090
  • IMG 0095
    Anna Donáth, István Hegedűs, Barnabás Kádár, Anna Orosz, Kinga Szuly

Hungary Needs NGO-s

On 21 March 2017 the Hungarian Europe Society signed a joint protest declaration as one of its initiators against the threats presented by the Hungarian government to civil organisations.

Signatory NGOs


There is no society without civil society: Hungary needs us. 

The work of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is essential to Hungarian society. We do diverse and irreplaceable work while striving for the common good and the achievement of democracy:
the self-organisation of citizens provides shared opportunities for cultural, educational, health and environmental advocacy. Moreover, it allows groups of citizens to jointly represent their interests, participate in public life, and keep the political power of office holders in check at all times.

We, the undersigned NGOs resolve to reject the Hungarian Government’s aspirations to restrict and stigmatise civil society. We are indispensable to Hungarian society to deal with and monitor matters that others do not pay enough attention to. We stand up for ourselves and for each other.

Hungary needs NGOs

Parliament’s legislative plan for the first half of 2017 includes the intention to amend the regulation which defines the legal functioning of NGOs. During a press conference held on 14 March 2017, it was announced that Fidesz-led coalition would initiate a five-party consultation on a draft law concerning "foreign-funded" organisations. The actual content of this so-called “national consultation” is yet unknown. However, some politicians have gone so far as to propose that the process be used as a method to “clear away” certain NGOs, while others labelled particular NGOs as foreign agents.

We the undersigned NGOs, strongly protest. Pursuing such a legislative agenda would infringe upon the freedom of association. Furthermore, we reject the attempt to stigmatise NGOs, their clients, sympathisers and supporters. Such a move not only impinges on the perception of the valuable work and credibility of organisations in question, but also limits of democratic expression and the possibility of citizen participation in public affairs as a whole. Based on statements concerning the proposed legislation up until now, the modifications would run contrary to international conventions signed by Hungary, and probably not pass the test of constitutionality.

We maintain that the so-called "national consultation" is an unsuitable method to assess the true facts and state of public opinion. Based on past experience, it is clear that this cannot be a substitute for real social debate.

The current Hungarian regulation regarding the NGO sector provides an adequate framework that guarantees legal safeguards, as well as the transparency and accountability for the activities for which the civil organisations were established. Management transparency is already sufficiently regulated, as highlighted by data made publicly available in a number of press releases.

Therefore, it is unacceptable that we can only keep abreast of information concerning the new legislative ideas and "national consultation" from the press when certain politicians make statements to discredit civil society. We anticipate that the formulation of any new law (amendment) must involve stakeholders and professional debate before it reaches its final form; as one would expect in a democratic constitutional state, and as required by Hungarian law.

We demand that the regulation governing the functioning of civil society’s fundraising and activities be transparent, and that it be consistent with international and European standards. Most importantly, the regulation must guarantee the right of citizens to freely associate, organise their activities and search for funds.

Pictures of a Workshop

  • DSC 1867
    Zsuzsanna Szelényi, István Hegedűs
  • DSC 1874
    Krisztina Rozgonyi, Gábor Halmai, Györgyi Kocsis
  • DSC 1878
    Fanni Bársony, Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Dóra Győrffy
  • DSC 1903
    Balázs Váradi, Dóra Piroska
  • DSC 1925
    László Bruszt, Zsófia Stahl, Daniela Lenčéš Chalániová
  • DSC 1929
    András Radnóti, István Hegedűs, László Bruszt
  • DSC 1944
    István Hegedűs, László Bruszt
  • DSC 1956
    István Hegedűs, László Bruszt, Lenčéš Chalániová
  • DSC 1960
    Tomasz Pawel Wozniakowski, Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurent Pech, Tomasz Koncewicz
  • DSC 1961
    Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurent Pech
  • DSC 1980
    László Bruszt, István Hegedűs
  • DSC 1999
    Orsolya Salát, Oliver Garrner, Renáta Uitz, Zsuzsanna Végh
  • DSC 2006
    Laurent Pech, Tomasz Tadeusz Koncewicz
  • DSC 2024
    Dimitry Kochenov
  • DSC 2027
    István Hegedűs
  • DSC 2033
    Zsuzsanna Szelényi, Kálmán Petőcz
  • DSC 2036
    Christian Joerges
  • DSC 2044
    Gergő Medve-Bálint, Erik Uszkiewicz, Zsófia Stahl
  • DSC 2086
    Renáta Uitz, Zsuzsanna Végh, Kata Nagy
  • DSC 2091
    Dóra Piroska, Wojciech Sadurski, András Radnóti
  • DSC 2182
    Tomasz Koncewicz, Györgyi Kocsis
  • DSC 2200
    Renáta Uitz, Zsuzsanna Végh, Kata Nagy, Véta Tarjányi, Krisztina Rozgonyi
  • DSC 2210
  • DSC 2241
    Fanni Bársony, Péter Molnár, Tomasz Pawel Wozniakowski, Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurent Pech
  • DSC 2278
    Gergő Medve-Bálint, Erik Uszkiewicz, Zsófia Stahl, Fanni Bársony
  • DSC 2304
  • 17309757 10155168835039764 5632791589946838016 n
    András Radnóti, Dimitry Kochenov

Counterrevolution

Takis Pappas, visiting scholar at the Central European University made a presentation entitled "What do the people distrust when they decide to trust populism?" on 8 February 2017.

  • 20170208 191102Takis Pappas, András Schweitzer, Erik Uszkiewicz, Fanni Bársony, Zsuzsanna Végh
  • 20170208 191250Takis Pappas, Mustár dog

A Dramatic Year

On 28 December 2016, HES held its traditional annual workshop where HES members made presentations to HES members. The following lectures were given at the event: Ernő Simon (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees): Better Protecting Refugees in the EU and Globally, Petra Jeney (European Institute for Public Administration): Some Legal Aspects of Brexit from an EU Perspective, Attila Bartha (HAS Centre for Social Sciences Institute for Political Science): Can Populist Economic Policy Be Successful? 

  • 20161228 184615
    Imre Koncz, Jerzy Celichowski, Orsolya Zámbó, Krisztina Stump, Gábor Erőss, Emese Lafferton, Emma Gothár, András Radnóti, Ernő Simon, Dorka Mező, Zsófia Stahl
  • IMG 6982
    Ernő Simon
  • IMG 6987
    Zsuzsanna Végh
  • IMG 6997
    Györgyi Kocsis, Petra Jeney
  • IMG 7009
    Krisztina Stump, Emese Lafferton, Anita Bakos, Zsófia Stahl
  • IMG 7012
    Györgyi Kocsis, Attila Bartha
  • IMG 7033Ádám Szuly
  • IMG 7038
    István Hegedűs, Kinga Szuly, Mustár