Hungary – openness and rights without access

Thomas Pfister

in The Activation of Citizenship in Europe

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780719083310
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781781704653 | DOI:
Hungary – openness and rights without access

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While largely following the same structure as the previous two chapters, the specific historical characteristics of Hungary’s post-socialist transformation and its EU accession demand a slightly extended first section and more background. On the one hand, citizenship practices have been in turmoil, particularly with respect to the situation of women in the labour market. On the other hand, against the background of immense institutional and cultural transformations, the weakening of gender equality within the conceptual activation debate at EU level has had the most serious effects. In particular, the introduction of a comprehensive Equal Treatment Act in 2004 brought a whole set of new rights (to equality and non-discrimination). However, given the limited resources of the institutional equality framework, the weak voice of the feminist movement, and a general conservative (and increasingly polarized) public discourse gender issues have been facing serious problems. In short, the re-structuring of citizenship in Hungary brought about important rights but not citizenship practices in terms of access to those rights.

Keywords: Hungary; Post-socialist transformation; EU accession; EU enlargement; Welfare reform; Rights; Non-discrimination; Gender equality; Citizenship practices; Inequality

Chapter.  8755 words. 

Subjects: European Union

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