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The information on democratic rights and values is disseminated through
- the National Core Curriculum [(Nemzeti Alaptanterv (hereinafter referred to as NAT)],
- the New Generation Centre [Új Nemzedék Központ (UNK)] and
- programmes organised by NGOs.
In Hungary, active citizenship education and social responsibility education are present in schools at several points. The National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv) requires, that the content of civic education be taught in several subjects (for example history; ethics, and so on).
The New Generation Reloaded Project (Új Nemzedék Újratöltve) which is the project of the New Generation Centre mentioned above, is financed through a European Union grant (EFOP-1.2.3-VEKOP-15-2015-00001). Now this project belongs to the Elizabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap).
There is no information on current, nation-wide campaigns for young people informing them on democratic rights and values or on awareness - raising campaigns on European values. However, a project called 'Education for Democratic Citizenship' ['Demokratikus Állampolgárságra Nevelés Projekt' (hereinafter referred to as EDC)] must be mentioned. The project, which was realised at the beginning of the 2000s, aimed at preparing students to active and responsible participation in society and to familiarise them with democratic rights.
National Youth Parliament (Országos Diákparlament)
At the beginning of 2020, the 10th National Student Parliament (hereinafter referred to as ODP) met in Székesfehérvár for 3 days (találkozó). The county student parliaments delegated about 220 students. The State Secretary Responsible for Public Education also attended the meeting.The students worked in different sections. At the closing plenary session participants made 45 recommendations to the education government (e.g. organising a school student rights theme day).
First voters have been always important for the current Government in power. Those young people who became of legal age since the latest elections always get a present if they participate in the elections. These presents usually relate to the topic of the election. The National Election Office (Nemzeti Választási Iroda) gives these presents.
In 2019, citizens, who voted for the first time (első választók), received a silicone bracelet from the National Election Office. The flag of the European Union is also featured on the national-coloured silicone bracelet. 110 154 young people received it.
In 2014, the Office ordered 15 310 blue plastic cards (in the size of a credit card) for young people, whose first voting was the European Parliament election. On one side of the card, there was a title 'Memento for first voters 2014' ('Emlékül az első választóknak 2014') with the coat of arms of Hungary and the European Union’s yellow stars. On the other side there was a quotation from the Hungarian Fundamental Law:
'We are proud that our people over the centuries have defended Europe in a series of struggles and enriched Europe’s common values with its talent and diligence. (…) We believe that our national culture is a rich contribution to the diversity of European unity.' (The Fundamental Law of Hungary, p. 2)
United Nations Youth Delegate
The UN Youth Delegate has also become more popular among young people. Young people aged between 15 and 26 can take part in this programme. The programme aims to provide the young generation the opportunity to represent and enforce their interests in international decision-making. Young people who selected for the programme may represent their own country in the most important forums and consultations of the UN as members of the formal delegations, as a youth diplomat.
The programme has been confirmed, among other things, by certain resolutions of the World Program of Action for Youth (A / RES / 50/81) and the UN General Assembly (A / RES / 64/130, etc.). Hungary joined the program in 2016 with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Külgazdasági és Külügyminisztérium). The youth delegate develops its own position based on discussions with young people nationwide. (For more information about the UN youth delegates, see sub-chapter 9.3 Exchanges between young people and policy-makers on global issues.)
'Step up!' programme ('Lépj fel!' program)
The ‘Step up!’ programme ('Lépj fel!') is the programme series of the National Youth Council. They visited all of the counties of Hungary during a year. The aim was to bring young people and decision-makers together. They mostly discuss issues which are relevant on the local level with the delegates of NIT, NGOs, and other stakeholders. (For more details see sub-chapter 5.4 Young people's participation in policy-making)
Parliamentary Youth Day
The Parliamentary Youth Day, titled 'You have a say' ('Van beleszólásod'), is designed to enable young people to become acquainted with:
- the basic institution of democracy and
- the legislature,
- the House of Parliament,
- learn to speak on decisions about them, and
- actively participate in the resolution of community affairs in the future.
During the day, participants attending high school at the grade 11-12. (about 300 people) have the opportunity to chat with a member of the national and EU parliament and participate in an interactive discussion and get acquainted with the youth pillar of the Erasmus+.
Representatives' debate is about young people's own prepared questions, and the debate is based on topics that concern them. The participation of the groups - together with the preparation and the creative report - are being evaluated by a professional jury.
One youth programme of the Public Library and Public Education Directorate is the Democracy Game (Demokráciajáték). It is a one-day long event where students can take part in the role of representatives, so they can get to know the work of the Parliament closely. During the programme, young people may attend a committee meeting, a plenary session, and a fractional session.
The aim (célja) of the programme is to familiarise the work of the members of the Parliament with young people by modelling Parliament's legislative work. Its long term goal is to raise students' interest in public life. The initiative seeks to make young people participate in providing opinion and in cultivating discussion on issues that affect them, to expand their communication and argumentation skills and to work in a team.
Parliamentary tutorial (Parlamenti különóra) is also for high school students. The purpose of the programme is to familiarise students with the foundations of parliamentary democracy and to gain insight into the work of the Parliament and to expand their constitutional knowledge. Participants can spend a whole day at the Parliament, have a separate conversation with a member of the Parliament, visit the plenary meeting and take part in interactive games.
'Like-a-Parliament' ('Mint-a- Parlament')
It is like a Democracy game, but university students are the target group of the programme called 'Like-a-Parliament' ('Mint-a-Parlament'). The event is a two-day program series consisting of a debate and a session. The representatives (undergraduates) in simulation game creates fictional parliamentary groups. They submit bills aiming for consensus, which, later, can be discussed at a parliament session. The last session was held at the end of November 2019.
Fostering the dialogue among young people is supported by mainly individual, NGO and local initiatives or there are also certain projects which focus on the same aim. Such project, for example, was a 2016 spring call for applications on fostering intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma people. (Roma és nem-roma interkulturális párbeszéd elősegítése)
No programmes exist in Hungary on the 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 is no data on trainings available for politicians and decision-makers on youth-tailored communication. There are several bachelor programmes for those who are interested in becoming a youth worker; however, these are available for anyone (who meets the admission requirements), including decision-makers.