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According to the Fundamental Law of Hungary (Article VIII.), 'everyone shall have the right to establish and join organisations […] Trade unions and other interest representation organisations may be formed and may operate freely based on the right to association.' Besides that the new Civil Code (Polgári Törvénykönyv) and the Law on Civic Society Association (Civil törvény) define how NGOs can be founded and operated. In Hungary, these regulations are relevant for youth NGOs as well. Some youth organisations are public bodies [for example the National Union of Doctoral Students (Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége)], but the majority of them are associations [for example the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács)].
The Deputy State Secretariat for Civil and Society Relationships operates under the Prime Minister's Office (Miniszterelnökség). Its aims among others are to support the effective operation of NGOs, to operate an information and administration portal [Civil Information Portal (Civil Információs Portál)], and it pursues that the state funds would be accessible for the NGOs in a favourable way.
The main principle is that youth should have interest groups for advocacy. It is important that throughout these organisations, the Government have negotiation partners who can represent these groups of society. There are interest groups according to different fields as well. For example:
- young entrepreneurs – Young Entrepreneurs Association Hungary (in Hungarian: FIVOSZ),
- young farmers – Hungarian Farmers' Association [Fiatal Gazdák Magyarországi Szövetsége (AGRYA)]
- National Union of Doctoral Students [Doktoranduszok Országos Szövetsége (referred hereinafter to as DOSZ)].
Also, there is an organisation which represents all young people: the National Youth Council [Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács (hereinafter referred to as NIT)].
There is no particular information on the principles and goals of youth organisations.
The source of financing might be statutory or governmental subsidies, or tender application or individual grants. The Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) provides an individual grant for policy support in the basis of application. Grants can be approved with applications through the state funds listed below.
National Cooperation Fund [Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap (hereinafter reffered to as NEA)]
Specific rules apply on state aids are specified in statute CLXXV of 2011 (2011. évi CLXXV. törvény az egyesülési jogról, a közhasznú jogállásról, valamint a civil szervezetek működéséről és támogatásáról). The operation of NGOs and their specific programmes and activities (for example advocacy), their publications are supported by the state through the National Cooperation Fund [Nemzeti Együttműködési Alap (in short NEA)] which uses state budget (az államháztartási alapból gazdálkodik) for its tenders [55-56§; CLXXV Act of 2011 (civil törvény)]. The operational fund can only be obtained through NEA, while other grants are supporting professional activities.
From 1 January 2019 on the NEA is operated by Bethlen Gábor Fund Ltd (Bethlen Gábor Alapkezelő Zrt.).
Children and Youth Fund [Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alap (GYIA)]
The Ministry of Human Capacities supports the activities, programmes, initiatives of children and young people through the Children and Youth Fund [Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alap (hereinafter referred to as GYIA)], which has a state budget chapter (Gyermek és Ifjúsági Alapprogram). For example:
- the programmes of youth NGOs on participation,
- events simulating the functioning of the democratic institutions and the roles of decision-makers within these institutions, cooperation.
National Talent Programme (Nemzeti Tehetség Program) The aim (célja) of the National Talent Programme (Nemzeti Tehetség Program) is the support of talent-development, long-term assistance of talented youth, promotion of the outstanding talent managed by organisations, communities and programs in Hungary and beyond the borders. (For more information, please see sub-chapter 4.4 Inclusive programmes for young people.)
Bethlen Gabor Fund (Bethlen Gábor Alap) Bethlen Gabor Fund (Bethlen Gábor Alap) is an earmarked state fund. It aims (célja) to support Hungarians living beyond the borders on their motherland, strengthen the connection between the motherland and homeland. Financial grants can be gained through a call for applications or individual grant applications. Applicants can be individuals (Hungarian youth outside their homeland), communities and other institutions, local governments.
- preservation and development of Hungarian culture and science,
- actions related to European Union activities.
Additionally, different development programmes provided a framework for financial support in recent years, mainly the Human Resources Development Operational Programme (hereinafter referred to as EFOP) currently for example
- 'Support for youth activities' (EFOP-1.2.2-15. Ifjúsági programok támogatása) aims to operate projects of NGOs and public bodies to support the involvement of young people in decision-making processes or
- the 'Wonder Deer School Comunnity Programme' (EFOP-188.8.131.52 Csodaszarvas iskolai közösségi program)
- or the Erasmus+ Programme.
Part of the tenders for NGOs are related to certain regions or professional tasks such as GINOP (Economic Development and Innovation Operation Programme) and Szechenyi2020.
Financial support might originate from for example the Structural Funds or Cohesion Fund of the European Union, the budget of the European Union or from international organisations [2§; CLXXV Act of 2011 (civil törvény)].
In Hungary, it is the task of local governments to support youth. [CLXXXIX. Act of 2011 (2011. évi CLXXXIX. törvény Magyarország helyi önkormányzatairól)] This means, that on the local level, the local governments also support youth organisations, although the form of this support is not defined.
The type of activities which are supported by means of public finance mentioned above are variable, for example:
- mentor training,
- information and communication activities,
No programmes exist in Hungary on that topic that is available for a wide range of youngsters and financed by the Hungarian state. This issue is not part of the Hungarian Government’s main goals or rhetorical line.
There have been several governmental initiatives as well for example the 'Like-a-Parliament' ('Mint-a-Parlament') or Parliament Youth Day (Parlamenti Ifjúsági Nap), which aims to encourage youth participation. (For more information about the programmes, please see sub-chapter 5.8 Raising political awareness among young people.)
'Like-a-Parliament' is a 2-day long programme series: it consists of a debate day and a sitting day. It aims to let higher education students experience the legislative process which would encourage them to participate and be active in organisations.
The goal of the Parliament Youth Day (Parlamenti Ifjúsági Nap) is to show young people the Parliament, the primary institution of democracy where legislation takes place, and to let them learn how they can influence those decisions which affect them, so that they can be more active in public issues. In 2019 (2019-ben), 300 pupils participated at the event where they had a dialogue with members of the Hungarian and European Union Parliament through an interactive debate game. In 2020 the Parliament Youth Day is planned to organise in October (Parlamenti Ifjúsági Nap 2020).
There are also other pedagogical programmes which take place in the Parliament weekly or monthly during the school year and of which aim is to motivate students to participate in politics. These programmes are
On the other hand, the NGOs organise the majority of the national level initiatives [for example the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács), Foundation for Democratic Youth (Demokratikus Ifjúságért Alapítvány)].