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Hungary and the European Union: the political implications of societal security promotion

Taylor and Francis
Publication Date
  • Ja Political Science (General)
  • Jn Political Institutions (Europe)
  • Economics
  • Law
  • Political Science


Hungary's constitutional commitment to support kin-nationals beyond its borders (nation policy) has been a central feature of its post-1989 foreign policy and highlights a particularly important national security concern—the societal security of national identity, culture, language and tradition. This article examines Hungary's societal security concerns and the policy methods it utilises, including its EU membership and the promotion of minority rights at the European level, to help combat these concerns. It is suggested that Hungary has found it somewhat difficult to balance its societal security policy objective with internal economic demands on its welfare system and its external foreign policy objective to maintain good neighbourly relations. This article also notes that Hungary's attempts to Europeanise, or rather 'EU-ise', minority and ethnic rights issues as a means to enhance societal security for the Hungarian nation has certain political consequences for the EU. This suggests that societal security provision is an issue that cannot be overlooked when trying to understand the longer-term implications of EU eastern enlargement.

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