Eurobarometer: Support for the EU declines in Hungary, especially among young people

March 27. 2023. – 02:25 PM



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Support for the European Union has declined in Hungary, especially among young people, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey. The survey was carried out in Hungary between 12 January and 6 February 2023 on a sample of 1,040 people, commissioned by the European Commission.

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The report shows that 39% of Hungarians now think positively about the European Union – 6 percentage points below the EU average. 42 % of Hungarian respondents have a neutral opinion of the EU, while 19 % have a negative opinion. According to the report, the decline in support in Hungary is mainly due to a change of opinion among young people, and the fact that it emerged at the time of the survey that universities that have been transformed into foundations (i.e. almost three-quarters of Hungarian students) will not be able to apply for EU grants, including Erasmus scholarships, in the future.

12% fewer Hungarians have a positive view of the EU than six months earlier

Percentage of Hungarians who said they had a positive image of the EU in the last five Eurobarometer surveys.

The report adds that support for the EU in Hungary has declined not only among young people but also among other age groups. Similarly, confidence in the European Union has also declined: while last summer it was 56 %, this winter only 50 % of respondents in Hungary said they trusted the EU.

6% fewer Hungarians trust the EU than six months earlier

Percentage of respondents who said they trust the EU in the last five Eurobarometer surveys.

However, it should be added that Hungarians still have more confidence in democracy in the European Union than at home – although these figures are down from six months ago.

Like other EU citizens, roughly half of the Hungarian population (52%) is satisfied with the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine – although the proportion of Hungarians who support the EU's actions, including the sanctions policy, has now fallen below the EU average (56%). The 44% rejection rate is, of course, nowhere near the 97% "national consultation figure" that the government is advertising on billboards at every street corner.

In Hungary, price rises, inflation and the cost of living are the most pressing issues for respondents (65%) – both personally and for the country as a whole. In comparison, only 2 % of respondents said that immigration was one of the most important issues in their own lives.

Although most Hungarians continue to watch TV to keep up to date with world affairs, they prefer to find out more about European politics and the EU via the Internet.

Among public institutions, trust in the police is the highest in Hungary (65 %), followed by local authorities (59 %), the army (54 %) and the judiciary (54 %). In contrast, Hungarians have little trust in the media (30 %) and even less trust in political parties (21 %).

Read the full national report on Hungary here.

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