Blaming the Migrants in the Eastern Part of the EU

The final report entitled "The Response of the Visegrad Countries to the Refugee Crisis" was completed by the Hungarian Europe Society at the end of September 2016. The authors are István Hegedűs, Györgyi Kocsis, Kata Nagy, András Schweitzer, Zsófia Stahl, Erzsébet Strausz, Erik Uszkiewicz, Zsuzsanna Végh, Zsófia Vidák as well as Alena Krempaska, Christian Kvorning Lassen and Peter Weisenbacher. The project was supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation für die Freiheit.

Individual papers for the report:

István Hegedűs: Political Games in an „Illiberal Democracy” During the Refugee Crisis

Györgyi Kocsis, Kata Nagy: Responses of the Visegrad 4 Countries to the Current European Migrant Crisis. First Lessons of an Expert Survey

Alena Krempaska, Peter Weisenbacher: The Refugee Crisis and the Reaction of the Visegrad Countries. Government Policies in National Contexts - Slovakia

Christian Kvorning Lassen: The Czech Republic and the Refugee Crisis

András Schweitzer: Strangers and the Strange Lands – Cultural Roots of the East Central European “Compassion Deficit”

Zsófia Stahl, Zsófia Vidák: Refugees of the Recent “Migrant Crisis” in the Visegrad Group Countries - Cultural and Legal Aspects

Zsuzsanna VéghRefugee and Migration Crisis through the Visegrad Lens One Year in Review

Timeline of most notable events related to the European migrant crisis
April 2015 – May 2016 

Make the Referendum Invalid!

Hungarian non-governmental organisations, including the Hungarian Europe Society, condemned the anti-refugee referendum announced by the government in a joint declaration on 14 September 2016. They advice citizens to boycott the referendum or to submit an invalid vote.

cover logoknelkul baratsafosabb

Let's Invalidate the Hungarian Refugee Quota Referendum!

We, Hungarian NGOs and citizens with a sense of responsibility for our country, believe in a country where our common matters are managed with humaneness, solidarity and mutual respect. We are concerned about seeing the government threaten our common values, therefore we speak out against the referendum scheduled for October 2, as well as the hate campaign surrounding the vote.

We decided to start a campaign to invalidate the referendum, which fails to promote our common concerns and is both pointless and inhuman.

Hillary is the Final Favorite

On 6 June 2016 Szabolcs Panyi, editor-journalist of Index online journal and Csaba Tóth, strategic director of Republikon Institute held presentations about the US presidential elections.

  • 13382124 10154268840434116 27777710 n
    Orsolya Zámbó, Jerzy Celichowski, Emil Celichowski, István Hegedűs, Szabolcs Panyi, Csaba Tóth, Györgyi Kocsis, Mustár, László Seres
  • 13414598 10154268840504116 326040344 n
    Szabolcs Panyi, Csaba Tóth

Pictures of a Workshop

  • IMG 7104
    István Hegedűs, Péter Balázs
  • IMG 7111
    István Hegedűs
  • IMG 7128
    Boldizsár Nagy
  • IMG 7138
    Christian Kvorning Lassen, Zsófia Stáhl
  • IMG 7142
    András Szalai, Györgyi Kocsis
  • IMG 7152
    Erik Uszkiewicz, András Schweitzer
  • IMG 7202
    Erzsébet Strausz
  • IMG 7265
    Peter Weisenbacher, Boldizsár Nagy, István Hegedűs
  • IMG 7282
    Elżbieta Kużelewska, Boldizsár Nagy
  • IMG 7300
    Júlia Iván
  • IMG 7310
    Peter Weisenbacher, Alena Krempaska
  • IMG 7320
    Igor Ujhazi, Emina Bužinkić
  • IMG 7322
    Emma Gothár, Michal Cerny, Zsuzsanna Végh, Gabi Gőbl
  • IMG 7324
    Kata Nagy, Boldizsár Nagy, Györgyi Kocsis
  • IMG 7336
    Kata Nagy
  • IMG 7341
  • IMG 7377
    Zsófia Vidák, Emma Gothár
  • IMG 7379
    Erzsébet Strausz, Dániel Hegedűs, Zsuzsanna Végh
  • IMG 7504
    András Kováts
  • IMG 20160529 210130
    Kata Nagy, Boldizsár Nagy, István Hegedűs, Peter Weisenbacher, Erzsébet Strausz, András Szalai, Elżbieta Kużelewska, Emina Bužinkić, Igor Ujhazi, Katarina Davidova, Christian Kvorning Lassen, Zsófia Stáhl, Emma Gothár, Alena Krempaska, András Schweitzer, Zsófia Vidák, Erik Uszkiewicz, Györgyi Kocsis

Parallel Political Realities

The Hungarian Europe Society organised an international workshop at the Central European University, Budapest on 30 May 2016. The invited experts discussed how the Visegrad countries reacted to the refugee crisis. The partners of HES were the representatives of the Europeum Institute for European Policy from Prague, the Human Rights Institute from Bratislava, and the Centre for Direct Democracy Studies at the University of Białystok. The host of the event was the CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies. The project is supported by the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit.

met logo

The Refugee Crisis and the Reaction of the Visegrad Countries

Workshop organised by the Hungarian Europe Society and supported by the CEU Center for European Neighborhood Studies and the Friedrich Naumann Stiftung für die Freiheit

Concept (EN)

NEWlogo CEUENS color

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 21.39.37


30 May 2016, Monday 
Venue: Central European University, Popper Room
9 Nádor Street, Budapest, 1051

9.30-9.45 Welcome 

Péter Balázs (director, Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Central European University)

István Hegedűs (chairman, Hungarian Europe Society)

9.45-10.30 Key-note speech

Boldizsár Nagy (associate professor, Central European University): Parallel Realities: Political Crisis in a Legal Framework


10.30-11.30 Historical and Political Background of the Reactions to the Refugee Crisis in Hungary and Beyond

András Schweitzer (vice-chairman, Hungarian Europe Society): Similarities and Differences – Path-dependency in the Region 

István Hegedűs (chairman, Hungarian Europe Society): Illiberal Democracy, Populism, and the Orbán-factor 

Erzsébet Strausz (member, Hungarian Europe Society) – Erik Uszkiewicz: (member, Hungarian Europe Society): Civilian Responses in Hungary


11.30-11.45 Break

11.45-13.30 Refugee Crisis: Government Policies in National Contexts

Christian Kvorning Lassen (research fellow, Europeum Institute for European Policy, Prague): Political Games in the Czech Republic

Peter Weisenbacher (executive director, Human Rights Institute, Bratislava): The Slovak Reaction (Presentation Slides)

Elżbieta Kużelewska (associate professor, Centre for Direct Democracy Studies, University of Bialystok): Poland towards the Refugee Crisis

Júlia Iván (senior legal officer, Hungarian Helsinki Committee): Consequences of the Fence at the Hungarian Borders

András Szalai (researcher, Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Central European University; member, Hungarian Europe Society): Theatrics of Xenophobia: Hungary and the 2015 Migration Crisis


13.30-15.00 Lunch Break

15.00-16.45 The Visegrad Countries in Comparative Perspective

Györgyi Kocsis (vice chair-woman, Hungarian Europe Society) – Kata Nagy (member, Hungarian Europe Society): First Lessons of an Expert Survey

Zsuzsanna Végh (researcher, Center for European Neighborhood Studies, Central European University; vice chair-woman, Hungarian Europe Society): The Political Dynamics of the Visegrad Group during the Refugee Crisis

Igor Ujhazi (chairman, All Together, Novi Sad): Serbia’s Position during the Crisis and the Role of Civil Engagement

Emina Bužinkić (member, Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb): Welcome to Croatia? 

Dániel Hegedűs (research fellow, German Council on Foreign Relations and visiting lecturer, Freie Universität Berlin; member, Hungarian Europe Society): Between Moral Rightness and Political Necessity - German Politics in the Refugee Crisis



András Kováts (director, Menedék – Hungarian Association for Migrants): Integration, Parallel Societies, Multiculturalism


17.15-17.30 Farewell Remarks

Further participants: Zsófia Vidák, Zsófia Stahl, Emma Gothár, Michal Cerny, Ernő Simon, Kinga Szurday, Jerzy Celichowski (members of the Hungarian Europe Society), Alena Krempaska (Human Rights Institute, Bratislava) and Katarina Davidova (Europeum Institute for European Policy, Prague)

Diplomatic Assessment of the Semester

Gajus Scheltema, Ambassador of the Royal Netherlands Embassy to Hungary was the guest of HES on 24 May 2016. The discussion included the priorities elaborated by the Dutch Presidency of the EU Council as well as the challenges facing the European integration. The ambassador called the EU-Turkey agreement a break-through in the management of the migration crisis. He expressed his optimism about the EU membership of Great Britain considering the recent polls about the outcome of the referendum: the country will remain in the European Union. Scheltema had a very positive opinion about the co-operation of the Visegrad Four countries. Since the meeting was off-the-record, the ambassador's views regarding Hungarian domestic politics are not public...

  • IMG 7061
    György Drótos, Judit Bayer, Zsuzsa Szelényi, András Barta, Gajus Scheltema
  • IMG 7071
    Gajus Scheltema
  • IMG 7065
    Gajus Scheltema, Tamás Fóti, Kata Nagy
  • IMG 7096
    Gajus Scheltema