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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


5. Participation

5.3 Youth representation bodies

On this page
  1. Youth parliament
  2. Youth councils and/or youth advisory boards
  3. Higher education student union(s)
  4. School student union(s)
  5. Other bodies

Youth parliament


It is complicated to predict whether there is an officially organised and regularly working youth parliament. The formation of youth parliament established by the Government has not been working regularly, even though the law contributes to it. Although there are other grass-roots initiatives, actions and different (mainly international) formations exist, there is a lack of regularly working youth parliament. Individual formations are listed below:

National Youth Parliament (Országos Diákparlament)

The Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről) states, that the Minister of Education [currently the Secretary Responsible for Public Eduation (Köznevelésért Felelős Államtitkárság)] has the main task of convening the Youth Parliament.



The minister convenes the Youth Parliament in every second year. 




Representatives are chosen based on ascending order. Firstly, the institutional representatives are selected by either the institutional student council or by the participants of the student council’s meeting. The selected people’s task is to represent their institutions’ students. Secondly, the county representative is selected by the county’s student council out of previously selected individuals. These chosen individuals represent than their county at the National Youth Parliament (Országos Diákparlament) where about 300 candidate is present. 


Role and responsibilities


In the presentation of the Youth Parliament, it reviews the exercise of student rights and might adopt a recommendation in which it shall formulate its opinion and proposal. The Youth Parliament established the National Student Council (Országos Diáktanács) on 15th February 2017.




Information on the budget is not available. 


National Student Council (Országos Diáktanács)

Long term cooperation has been established between 

  • the National Student Council [Országos Diáktanács (hereinafter refered to as NSC)],
  • the Minister of State for Education, and
  • the representatives of students

and the National Student Council is the forum of it. 

The National Youth Parliament initiated the establishment of NSC in 2017 to continue a regular representation for the significant issues in the meantime of the parliamentary sessions (2-3 years). In the last three years, they met 19 times (találkozók).


The participants are 2 representatives from Budapest and 19 from the counties. 


The student council cooperates in providing an opinion on questions regarding student’s policy (forming an opinion, making recommendations, taking commitment); has options for regular reconciliation with the educational government, participate in the preparation of youth parliament. It operates as a corps and exercises its rights on the sessions. 

Independent Youth Parliament (Független Diákparlament)

The Independent Youth Parliament [Független Diákparlament (hereinafter referred to as IYP)] was a civilian, self-organised, non-governmental financed student representation. It was established in 2014 as entirely independent (meaning independent from national, political and educational supervision). In the school year 2019/2020 they became a student movement, named 'Movement for Alternative, Student Centered Education' (Alternatív Diákközpontú Oktatásért Mozgalom). Theire main profile is not yet visible.  

Youth councils and/or youth advisory boards


National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács)

The task of the National Youth Council [Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács (hereinafter referred to as NIT)] is the representation of the member organisations, establish communication between youth organisations, articulate questions, manners concerning young people, continuous communication with decision-makers, support and implement the horizontal aims of youth policy. Last but not least, addressing the current Government as the united youth with the support of its membership. 

It was established on 1 December 2012, however, the idea of its formation had been present since the change of the political regime. The statutory meeting saw 105 organisations signing the declaration of association and passing the statutory regulations. In the autumn 2016 NIT signed a strategical agreement with the Ministry of Human Capacities, since then NIT has been entitled to act as a strategical partner of the Government in youth representation in such major fields as youth policy, volunteering, social inclusion or education.


The composition of NIT:

  • young people,
  • delegates of youth organisations (public and NGOs),
  • youth workers and other experts working with young people. There isn’t any data publicly available on the age or number of members, and it changes continuously.

The most important body of NIT is the General Assembly which consists of all full members. Mayor decision-making body of the Delegate-Assembly: they have at least 2 meetings annually where they decide about the most important issues of the organisation. These meetings are public. 

The Presidency's (7 board members) task is to ensure the operational functions.  The mandate of the 7 board members is valid for 2 years.

The 3rd central body of NIT is the Supervisory Board, which consists of 3 members that are selected by the General Assembly. The task of this body is to participate in the meetings of the Board and to supervise that their operation is in line with the law and other internal regulations. The mandate of the Supervisory Board is valid for 3 years.

Role and responsibilities

'The NIT is a forum established to create discussion among young people and their organisations as well as with domestic and international actors, decision-makers and organisations.' Several youth organisations have representation in NIT. As an umbrella organisation of Hungarian youth organisations, it is a democratic, politically independent and transparent organisation.

NIT’s major objectives include the followings:

  1. providing the highest level of representation of youth and their organisations,
  2. participating in forming and developing policies regarding youth, and
  3. acting as an advocate of young people towards the Government in power.

It aims to support the development of Hungarian youth policy, therefore it also wishes to cooperate with the Hungarian youth organisations over the borders of Hungary.


An annual state budget of 2 million HUF is dedicated for supporting the aims of NIT, beyond this its budget is handled in line with the civil law, and it operates with the help of funds from the National Cooperation Fund [Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap (NEA)]. Also, members pay some token membership fee (tagdíj).

Roundtable for the Youth Forum (Kerekasztal a Fiatalokért Fórum) as a youth advisory board

Roundtable for Youth [Kerekasztal a Fiatalokért Fórum (hereinafter referred to as KAF) is a professional forum through which the Government communicates with the leading organisations and individual professionals in the field of youth policy. 


The organisations are invited by the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) Deputy State Secretariat for Youth Policy and Creating Opportunities. The invited organisations are partly strategic partners of the Government, and partly they are organisations with great traditions, representing a significant number of youngsters. Since its establishment, the number of participants has increased.  Among others:

  • Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács (hereinafter referred to as NIT),
  • The National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies [Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája (hereinafter referred to as HÖOK),
  • Hungarian Youth Conference [Magyar Ifjúsági Konferencia (hereinafter referred to as MIK),
  • the National Union of Doctoral Students [Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége (referred hereinafter to as DOSz)],
  • Tempus Public Foundation (Tempus Közalapítvány),
  • National Association of Large Families [Nagycsaládosok Országos Szövegsége (hereinafter referred to as NOE)],
  • Rákóczi Association (Rákóczi Szövetség),
  • Hungarian School Sport Federation (Magyar Diáksport Szövetség),
  • the United Nations delegate, and so on.

Role and responsibilities

The purpose of KAF is to create a permanent forum for the youth organisations, Ministry of Human Capacities and other state institutions in order to discuss the actual questions of youth policy.  A discussion in which the Government informs organisation leaders about the actuality of youth policy, leaders of the participating institutions have the right to raise questions, share their upcoming events. The forum provides a unique opportunity for those organisations, who, otherwise have no chance to contact, share experience, or establish cooperation. Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) organises these meeting in every 2 months. 


Ministry provides the functioning operation of the forum; however, we do not access to factual information. 

Higher education student union(s)


Students in higher education exercise their rights within their institutions through an independent self-governing organisation. These self-governments are the so-called Student Self-Governments [Hallgatói Önkormányzat in Hungarian (hereinafter referred to as HÖK)] that are operating as parts of the higher education institutions. Their establishment and operation are defined by the Organisational and Operational Regulation of the institutions. 

The National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies (Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája)

'The National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies [Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája (hereinafter referred to as HÖOK)] is the representative organisation of the Hungarian student self-governments operating at Hungarian higher education institutions. The members come from these self-governments. It is organised and it operates in a democratic way.' [HÖOK - About us (HÖOK - Szervezetünk)] 

To support the development of the Hungarian higher education, HÖOK performs youth policy and higher education tasks which are not manageable on the institutional or regional level. It is a generally accepted representative body which has the right and the opportunity to articulate the needs and opinion of youth towards the decision-makers at the governmental level. HÖOK is active in several fields such as

  • mentorship,
  • dialogue at European level or
  • organising large-scale youth and sports events.

There is not any data publicly available on the age or number of members, and it changes continuously.

Student self-governments

'Every student is entitled to vote or to be elected as a member of the student self-government (hereinafter referred to as HÖK).' 


Higher educational institutions are required to ensure participation of students in committees, senates which deals with students’ issues. HÖK is present in every higher educational institution. It delegates 20-25% of the members of the senate. Participants have the right to consent when approving and amending the Organisations and Rules of Conduct and when reviewing finance concerning students and providing feedback on student-lecturer work. 


'The members of the local student self-government and the members of the National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies (HOÖK) are young people who are students of a Hungarian higher education institution and who are elected (annually) through democratic elections where the students of the institutions vote for the representatives.' [60-62§ of Act CCIV of 2011 On National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról 60-62§)]

In mayor higher educational institutions individual departments can be presented with so-called sub- self-governing bodies which are the part of the institutional HÖK. HÖK has (further divisions e.g. social administration, academic advocacy, foreign–relation organisation) committees that delegates represent. The central decision-making body is the Presidency and the President. 

Roles and responsibilities

The primary task of the student self-government is advocacy; besides that, they are supporting students, organising formal and informal events and international activities.

'The student self-government has reconciliation right over the acceptance and modification of the Organisational and Operational Regulations; the Regulation on Tuition Fees and Benefits; the student assessment system of the academic staff and the regulation of education and exams.' [Act CCIV of 2011 On National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról)]

It takes part in the students’ assessment of academic staff and has reconciliation rights over the financial instruments of youth policy and student support.

'For the horizontal development of Hungarian higher education, HÖOK has a comprehensive task in youth policy and higher education policy regarding those issues which cannot be handled on the local or regional level. […] It supports the Hungarian students in advocacy both at the national and at the international level, in particular among the member states of the European Union […] It represents its members in national and international forums.'

'It initiates laws; it reviews planned laws and regulations; it holds professional presentations; organises debate sessions and supports information flow.' Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája (HÖOK)]

HÖOK is actively present in several fields of students’ life:


According to the law it is the higher education institution which ensures the conditions of the student self-government’s operation. There is not any data publicly available on the number of members.


School student union(s)


Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (2011. évi CXC. törvény a nemzeti köznevelésről) states that students of a school may establish student councils to organise their joint activities in connection with education, to educate for democracy and public responsibility. These are the Student Councils (hereinafter referred to as DÖK).

Roles and responsibilities 

Student councils have the right to

  • decide on planning and organising their own community life, electing their functionaries,
  • reconcile and 
  • take the initiative and make their suggestions.

The student council shall be requested to express its opinion before statutory regulations of the school’s OOR are accepted, before determining the principles of providing social benefits for students, on the use of youth policy funds, before the approval of school regulations.

The school’s rules of procedures determine how DÖK, the student representatives and the school management work together. DÖK’s work is supervised by a teacher. 


The members of the student unions are selected in different ways at schools. In general, a certain number of pupils of the school is elected in every class and year.

The regulations on student councils ensure the establishment, operations and the legal status of student councils operating at the institutions.


The school takes charge of DÖK’s operational budget.   

Other bodies


National Union of Doctoral Students (Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége)

In Hungary the National Union of Doctoral Students [Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége (referred hereinafter to as DOSZ)] advocates on behalf of doctoral students ('Bemutatkozás') in different higher education, political or social forums since 1994.

'DOSZ is an ideologically neutral organisation that is working for social and scientific development. According to Paragraph 63 of Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education [A Nemzeti felsőoktatásról szóló 2011. évi CCIV. törvény 63. §] the National Union of Doctoral Students is a public body and it has established self-governments at all the 28 higher education institutions where there are doctoral schools.

The members of DOSZ are the institutional doctoral self-governments of the public or private higher education institutions where there are doctoral schools accredited by the state. Within the Union, there are more than 500 people from more than a hundred doctoral schools altogether in 20 scientific departments [tudományos osztályok]. The assembly of the delegates is the main decision-making body of DOSZ, and it is entitled to decide on issues of any other body. The presidents of the institutional doctoral self-governments have the right to vote in the assembly.'

DOSZ participates in the work of

  1. the Higher Education Roundtable (Felsőoktatási Kerekasztal),
  2. the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference (Magyar Rektori Konferencia),
  3. the Hungarian Accreditation Committee (Magyar Felsőoktatási Akkreditációs Bizottság) and
  4. the Hungarian Doctoral Council (Országos Doktori Tanács).

It is working closely with

  1. the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia),
  2. the Student Self-Governments in Higher Education,
  3. National Organisation of Student Self-governing Bodies [Hallgatói Önkormányzatok Országos Konferenciája (HÖOK)] and
  4. the national higher education institutions, and those research institutes and other organisations that are outside the Hungarian borders

It plays a big role in science organisation, as part of this activity it organises a large-scale national scientific conference called Spring Wind for Hungarian researchers from all over the world. 'The budget and property of DOSZ ['Alapszabály'] consist of state finance, the membership fees, donations of legal entities and individuals, and it has business activities as well – in its business units – to achieve its goals.'


Hungarian Youth Conference [Magyar Ifjúsági Konferencia (hereinafter referred to as MIK)]

According to the founding statement the

'Hungarian Youth Conference [Magyar Ifjúsági Konferencia (referred hereinafter to as: MIK)] is the forum of Hungarian youth and youth organisations in Hungary and over its borders, where their representatives can think together, learn and debate over their plans, problems and where they can implement their common vision by cooperation.'

The organisation was founded in 1999 on the initiative of the Hungarian Government. Ever since it is working actively, it organises different events, conferences. MIK is a counselling forum. It aims to make it possible for more and more Hungarian young people to participate in cross-border programs, events (határon túli programok, események) which support the development of the Hungarian youth community.

MIK is one of EMMI's strategic partner organisations in the field of youth issues. 

The organisational structure of MIK is based on territories according to 10 regions. MIK currently has 45 member organisations. Different youth organisations participate in MIK:

  • student organisations,
  • youth organisations based on age groups,
  • scouts,
  • youth organisations of historical churches,
  • youth affiliates of political parties and
  • other youth NGOs.

MIK holds two conferences (general meetings) annually and four permanent committee sessions. 

The major decisions are concluded in the final statement accepted by conference sessions. Between sessions, the primary decision-maker body is the Permanent Committee (Állandó Bizottság) of MIK. It consists of the presidents of the regions and the president of MIK. Its supervisory board has 3 members.

It is financed by the New Generation Centre (Új Nemzedék Központ).

Federation of Children’s and Youth Municipal Councils (Gyermek- és Ifjúsági Önkormányzati Társaság)

Federation of Children’s and Youth Municipal Councils [Gyermek- és Ifjúsági Önkormányzati Társaság (hereinafter referred to as GYIÖT)] is a Hungarian national NGO, an umbrella organisation of local children’s and youth councils. It was created in 1996. The main goal is the representing local youth communities at a national level, and creating opportunities for them to meet, and to help them develop.

The Municipal Association of Children and Youth exists for more than 20 years. It cooperates with several domestic and international organisations, and thanks to that they established an international professional network. 

Providing the existing youth councils and groups of youngsters who wish to create youth councils with professional methodologies, training, and experiences have become our mission.

It is necessary to establish a connection with organisations with youth interest. The member groups typically local youth councils. Organisations from different countries cooperate, as well. 

GYIÖT offers various services for member groups, youth community, civil organisations: 

  1. organisational development activities
  2. youth research, local youth conception and creation of action plan (advocacy, consultation)
  3. community and civil development
  4. proposal writing in the field of youth and community development
  5. professional project organisation
  6. training and seminars

It is involved in several projects, mainly for secondary school students and their teachers, as well as professionals in the field of youth work. 

We are working with an 8-membered operative group (the chair of the organisation – the president, the secretary-general and 3 vice-presidents and a trinomial supervising and controlling committee), who are volunteers. The decision-making body is the assembly of representatives (from the members’ youth councils), which meets at least two times a year.