Skip to main content

YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Hungary

Hungary

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.4 Youth policy decision-making

On this page
  1. Structure of Decision-making
  2. Main Themes
  3. The National Agency for Youth
  4. Policy monitoring and evaluation

 

Structure of Decision-making

 

In 2010, youth policy was integrated into one top institution, the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma), instead of the former separately existing ministries.

Youth policy (along with sports and drug issues) was under the supervision of the State Secretariat for Youth and Sport between 2010 and 2014, after 2014 it was assigned to the State Secretariat for Family and Youth Affairs, where youth policy is on the level of the State Secretary and the person responsible is the Deputy State Secretary for Young People.

The structure has undergone minor changes after the 2018 elections, but the top-level authority responsible for youth affairs remained the Ministry of Human Capacities. As of 1 October 2020, the former State Secretary for Family and Youth Affairs was appointed to the Minister without Portfolio Responsible for Families (Családokért felelős tárca nélküli miniszter).

At the end of 2021, the minister was appointed to become the President of Hungary and with the Government regulation no. 832/2021 (XII. 30.) [832/2021. (XII. 30.) Korm. rendelet] the Minister heading the Prime Minister's Office took over her role (átvette) from 1 January 2022. Under the Minister the Parliamentary State Secretary responsible for Families is responsible particularly for youth policies. The Deputy State Secretariat for Youth Affairs is under that unit.

Based on the Government regulation no. 94/2018. (V.22.) on the tasks and on the functions of the members of the Government [94/2018. (V.22.) Korm. rendelet a Kormány tagjainak feladat – és hatásköréről] the Minister heading the Prime Minister's Office is responsible for:

  • family policy,
  • child and youth policy,
  • the tasks related to the protection of children and youth.

As the person responsible for child and youth policy, the Minister is

  • responsible for the development of the government's youth policy,
  • coordinating the system of cooperation with young Hungarian people in the Carpathian Basin outside Hungary’s borders,
  • monitoring the implementation of children's rights,
  • managing tasks related to talent management,
  • carrying out tasks related to the National Talent Programme (Nemzeti Tehetség Program),
  • is responsible for the development of the Government's children's camping programme (Erzsébet táborok),
  • performing duties related to volunteering,
  • carrying tasks arising from the framework Programme for the Future of the New Generation (Új Nemzedék Jövőjéért Program), for which it uses the services of the Elisabeth Youth Foundation Nonprofit Ltd and the National Talent Center Public Non-Profit Ltd.

The following structure (struktúra) reflects the situation in force:

The Parliamentary State Secretary responsible for families coordinates the following bodies:

  • Parliamentery State Secretariat Cabinet for Families (preparation of the work of the Secretariat, review of professional materials),
  • Deputy State Secretariat for Family Policy,
  • Deputy State Secretariat for Youth Affairs which coordinates the Department of Youth Affairs.

The main aims of the Department of Youth Affairs:

  • codification,
  • coordination of cross-sectoral policies and objectives originated from the Future of the New Generation Programme (Új Nemzedék Jövőjéért Program),
  • contributing to the implementation and coordination of youth-related tasks arising from Hungary's membership of the European Union, cooperating with the Visegrad countries and other international memberships,
  • drafting the action plans of the National Youth Strategy,
  • coordinating the National Strategy on Volunteering;
  • supporting community youth work,
  • drafting and coordinating qualitative and quantitative youth researches.

The department consists of the Division of Youth Policy Programmes and the Division of Volunteering.

Besides this, the role of the Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium) must be mentioned as the Ministry coordinating the Youth Guarantee Scheme (for further information see chapter 3. Employment & Entrepreneurship).

The role of the Maria Kopp Institute for Demography and Families [Kopp Mária Intézet a Népesedésért és Családokért (KINCS)] in shaping youth policy is also notable as it is a budgetary institution established in 2018 by the Government and recently headed by the Minister heading of the Prime Minister's Office.

Roundtable for Youth (Kerekasztal a Fiatalokért)

As of 2017, the National Youth Expert Forum became inactive and the Roundtable for Youth took over its role, where the Government is coordinating with the participating youth organisations and experts on a regular, bi-monthly basis. According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2019, the participants of the Roundtable were the leaders of the most important organisations related to youth policy.

The main role of the organisation was to foster the conversation between the Government and youth: the Government provides information on current developments in youth policy and the heads of the organisations are able to

  • comment,
  • ask questions or
  • point out their planned programmes.

The main outcome of their activities so far has been a questionnaire, sent out by the Ministry to the members of the Roundtable (and also to a wider target group). The topic of the questionnaire was the future directon of youth policy. The Ministry summarized the feedbacks by topics, and they are going to involve them in the strategy documents in the future.

Since 2020 the Roundtable has not been convened due to the pandemic situation. The main advisory body is currently the Board of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alapprogram Tanácsa). The Board provides the Minister responsible for children and youth policy with proposals, opinions and advice. The Board met regularly in 2020-2021, when the pandemic situation required, in an online format.

Main Themes

 

According to the information provided by the Deputy State Secretariat for Youth Affairs, the main themes of youth policy in Hungary mostly focus on

  • fostering family formation and childbearing of young people, by supporting their housing acquisition and supporting the reconciliation of work and family,
  • supporting for proper housing for those who want to start an independent life,
  • career guidance
  • significantly increasing the share of young people in youth volunteering,
  • strenghtening young people’s local communities,
  • increasing youth involvment in sustainability,
  • protecting the mental health of young people,
  • providing young people with viable perspectives and future plans in Hungary,
  • generating interest in civic life, promoting active participation.

In 2021, one main youth related provision was the personal income tax exemption under 25 years from January 2022. The initiative came from the Operative board responsible for restarting community life in Hungary and will cost HUF 130-150 billion  (EUR 357-413 million) annually.

 

What informs the choice of themes

According to the National Youth Strategy, large-scale quantitative youth research studies are to be conducted every four years, the findings of which are also to be used in strategic planning. Although there is no institutionalised way to use the results of the youth research, it is often referred to when introducing new policies (for example data on the relatively low number of young people with language exams led to make the opportunity to acquire the first language exam free for people under the age of 35).

In addition, the Framework Programme for The Future of the New Generations plays a more important role in strategical planning, especially since there is no current action plan related to the implementation of the National Youth Strategy (the last one referred to 2016-17). Moreover, as mentioned above, the tasks related to the Framework Programme are assigned to a higher level, the Minister heading the Prime Minister's Office, while the NYS is coordinated by the Department of Youth Affairs [according to the operational rules of the Ministry, the department is responsible for the preparation of the action plans].

In addition, according to the information provided by the Ministry in 2018, the Government emphasises the role of involving young people in decision making, through representative organisations (such as the National Youth Council and the National Conference of Students’ Unions).

Specific target groups
Supporting population policy

According to the information provided by the Ministry in 2018, specific target groups include young people who are about to start a family. They are targeted by measures to encourage childbearing and to start of an independent life, in particular by the Family Housing Allowance Programme (CSOK) administered by the Ministry of Finance. This type of subsidy was also extended to second-hand properties from 1 July 2019. 

In addition, firstly married couples are eligible for tax allowances, the system of family tax benefit aims to support families with children, and there are programmes targeting parents participating in higher education (the 'graduate' childcare benefit, the suspension or termination of the obligation to pay student loans depending on the number of children). (For related information please see sub-chapter 4.6 Access to quality services.)

For married young couples, from 1 July 2019 there is another support scheme based on the Regulation on 44/2019. (III.12.) [44/2019. (III. 12.) Korm. rendelet a babaváró támogatásról]: couples where women are between 18 and 40 years and living in their first marriage can receive an interest-free loan for general purposes of maximum of HUF 10 million (about EUR 30 000). There are also certain reductions depending on the number of children. The state is the third-party guarantee and gives credit also to the banks. This option is available until 31 December 2022. In 2020, the budget was around HUF 26 billion (about EUR 72 million), and in 2021, HUF 67.6 billion (about EUR 190 million). (For related information, please see sub-chapter 4.6 Access to quality services.)

Young people living abroad

Connections to Hungarians living outside the borders appear in several youth policy programmes, most notably the 'Without borders' ('Határtalanul') programme, which aims to build connections between Hungarian youth in public education and the ethnic Hungarian communities in the neighbouring countries. In 2021, a budget of HUF 5.3 billion (about EUR 14.5 million) has been dedicated for the programme. In 2019, about 300 000 students participated (részvétel) in the programme.

A smaller-scale programme with similar aims is the Petőfi Sándor Programme (Petőfi Sándor Program) in which

young people were able to travel to the countries of the former Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy with the purpose of supporting and strengthening the scattered Hungarian communities. The programme is operated by the State Secretariat for National Policy of the Prime Minister’s Office. The 2020/2021 Programme was postponed due to the pandemic situation.

Young entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs are also supported through the 'Enter to the market!' programme ('Lépj a piacra!' program) which aims to prepare and support young people to start their own businesses. The programme started in 2017. The association organising this project is under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance.

 

The National Agency for Youth

 

There is no national agency for youth in Hungary, but there is an organisational network that fulfils this task. The national agency (Mobilitas National Youth Service) was founded in 1995 and existed until 2012 when New Generation Centre (Új Nemzedék Központ) took over its roles. In 2020, the community places were closed down, and the Centre's tasks were transferred to its legal successor, Elisabeth Youth Fund [Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap (referred hereinafter to as EYF)]. EYF was founded by the state of Hungary and the Elizabeth for the Children of Carpathian - Basin Foundation exercises its ownership rights.

The EYF's Directorate of Youth Profession Programmes (Ifjúságszakmai Programok Igazgatósága) coordinates the EU-financed project HRDOP-1.2.3-CCHOP-15-2015-00001: Complex Youth Developments – New Generation Reloaded (Új Nemzedék Újratöltve) which aims also to provide methodological support and succeeded Mobilitas for the duration of the project. The total budget of the project was about HUF 5 billion (about EUR 13.4 million). Further activities (tevékenységek) of the Directorate include:

  • methodological support for youth experts and organisations,
  • methodological support for municipal youth work and municipal volunteering,
  • methodological support for volunteering and hosting organisations, spreading the culture of volunteering, supporting volunteer programmes,
  • development of national and international links among youth experts, 
  • creation and maintenance of databases related to youth profession,
  • harmonisation of youth-related activities of different sectors,
  • operation of a network of youth profession mentors,
  • professional support for the social participation of young people,
  • tasks related to the development of the digital skills of young people and to adult education and further learning of teachers.

Policy monitoring and evaluation

 

As mentioned above, the main tool for policy monitoring and evaluation is the large-scale youth research conducted every four years. However, ad hoc researches are also conducted, usually on policy areas where youth are also affected (for example family policy and volunteering). There are no institutionalised mechanisms for applying the research findings, but they are regularly used in the formulation of strategic documents, background materials and policies. Also worth mentioning the main advisory body, the Board of the Children and Youth Fund (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alapprogram Tanácsa).