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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.1 General context

Last update: 5 April 2023
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  1. Main concepts
  2. Youth interest in global issues

Main concepts

According to the Concept for Global Responsibility Education in Formal and Non-Formal Education in Hungary (Koncepció a globális felelősségvállalásra nevelésről a formális és nem-formális oktatásban Magyarországon), Hungary is committed to promote and spread the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, and to participate in the achievement of the stated goals. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also plays an important role in the development of education for global responsibility in Hungary.

The Concept states that the following terms are in the focus of global responsibility education:

  • fair trade,
  • sustainable development,
  • poverty,
  • international development,
  • intercultural dialogue.
Global Education

The Concept aims also at increasing the social participation and sense of responsibility of young people, as well as developing their attitudes and competences on the following issues:

  • globalisation,
  • social,
  • economic,
  • technological,
  • political,
  • demographic and
  • environmental inequalities.

It also aims to encourage young people to be open thinking but critical, and to promote global solidarity and responsible cooperation.

According to the Concept, the contents and methods of education for global responsibility can be found in almost all areas of education and can therefore be embedded in almost all subjects. The concept states that education for global responsibility has a place both inside and outside the classroom. Education for global responsibility is also linked to social responsibility through the so-called school community service. (For more information about the school community service see sub-chapter 2.1 General context.)

Social inequality, poverty

The issue of social inequality affecting youth is addressed in Parliamentary Decision no. 88/2009. (X. 29.) on the National Youth Strategy [Országgyűlés 88/2009. (X. 29.) OGY határozata a Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégiáról] which set directives to be implemented in the youth field by 2024. The SWOT analysis of the Strategy states that 'there is a significant imbalance in the chances and opportunities of different age groups in terms of access to youth services' and that the employment rate and wages of young people are 'territorially unequal'. (For more information about the National Youth Strategy see sub-chapter 1.3 National Youth Strategy.) [National Youth Strategy 2009-2024 (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2009-2024)]

It emphasises that

'today's decisive regional and ethnic inequalities must be significantly reduced. Children should be brought up in a safe environment to reduce the incidence of deviancy, destroying life chances. Disadvantaged ''child generations'' should be allowed for social mobility.' [National Youth Strategy 2009-2024 (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2009-2024)]

Green volunteering

It is possible to volunteer at many Hungarian non-profit environmental organisations, especially in the field of nature conservation. Nevertheless, neither the Hungarian jargon nor the relevant laws (for example the Volunteer Act - Önkéntes törvény) nor the organisations themselves use a separate term for volunteers participating in this type of activity.

The results of the Voluntarism in Hungary 2018 (Önkéntesség Magyarországon 2018) research was published in 2019. It turns out that about 56 000 volunteers work specifically for an environmental and animal welfare organisation, and within this, the number of 18-29 aged is 16 000.

In Hungary, there is a large youth survey conducted every four years among 15-29 year olds, with a sample of 8 000 people, the Hungarian Youth Research. The last one was conducted in 2020. According to the results 1.1% of respondents said that they had engaged in voluntary activities related to environmental protection and animal welfare in the year prior the survey. [Data source: database of Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020)]

Youth interest in global issues

Currently, there is no survey results or other information that provides a description on the interest of Hungarian youth in global issues. Various Hungarian studies focus only on interest in domestic issues (public and political affairs).

Moreover, there is no direct programme that provides a continuous opportunity for this purpose. However, each one or two years, the relevant government agencies organise meetings and surveys that provide young people the opportunity to make their voices to be heard. These are not specifically focused on global issues but there are necessarily a number of global issues at the national level and young people have the opportunity to express their opinion on these issues. 

There are also programmes that relates to youth participation in policy-making. One of them is the 'Step up!' ('Lépj fel!') programme of the National Youth Council (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Tanács) that aims to bring together youth and decision-makers. (For more information, see sub-chapter 5.4 Young people's participation in policy-making.)

Another programme is the Visegrad Youth Forum that aims to create a platform for cooperation and to connect young people and future leaders from the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and from neighbouring regions and help them to improve their knowledge about different aspects of regional and intraregional cooperation in various fields.

Data on youth engagement in volunteering

In the Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020) survey young people were asked if they had done any voluntary work. 8% had volunteered in the year before the survey:

  • 6.7% had helped a non-profit organisation,
  • 4.3% had helped through a local authority,
  • 1.7% had volunteered through a church organisation and
  • 1.5% had volunteered through a business organisation or company. [Data source: database of Hungarian Youth 2020 (Magyar Fiatalok 2020)]
Cross-border mobility opportunities

In Hungary there are various European Union initiatives that provide opportunities for cross-border mobility in the context of entrepreneurship such as the Your First EURES Job and the Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs programme. (For more information see sub-chapter 3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities)

Young people can engage in voluntary activities in other regions through the 'Without Borders' ('Határtalanul') programme and with the Hungarian League of Volunteers Association. (For more information see sub-chapter 2.5 Cross-border mobility programmes.)