Historical Social Research

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Borbála Göncz & György LengyelChanging Attitudes of Hungarian Political Elites Towards the EU (2007-2014).  [Abstract]

One of the main determinants of general attitudes towards the EU is the perception of the domestic economic and political performance while national elites also play an important role. The Hungarian economic crisis, paired with the erosion of the support for the political power in government started earlier (in 2006) than the global financial and economic crisis that further deteriorated the economic and political situation. Hungary was one of the first EU countries that had to rely on an IMF loan. The change in governance in 2010 meant a change in the parliamentarian elite and a significant shift in public discourses about the EU. The raising dissatisfaction of citizens also resulted in the rise of a right wing extremist party. The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of attitudes of the Hungarian political (parliamentarian) elite towards the EU in this changing political context in times of economic recession and changing public discourses on the EU. The paper investigates the changing perception of the role the EU played during the crisis, the changes in the perception of European social solidarity and how the European construct should look like taking into account the changed party structure of the Hungarian Parliament. The paper builds on survey data collected among MPs in 2007 and 2009 within the INTUNE project as well as in 2014 within the ENEC project.

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