Policy Solutions’ main objective is to conduct research that provides a deeper understanding of the state of Hungarian society and can thus serve as a foundation for public policies that reflect the key concerns of Hungarians. In the spirit of this mission, we regularly explore the concerns and aspirations that preoccupy Hungarians with respect to their own personal future, the long-term prospects of Hungary, and the key challenges facing the world. The present study builds on this tradition at a time when we are facing a vast array of major uncertainties, both within and outside of Hungary.
In this study, we capture and discuss the fears and aspirations of Hungarian society in 2023. The results of our research shine a light not only on the issues that worry Hungarians in their private lives, such as how they perceive their financial situation, but also with respect to the problems facing their country, and the issues they view as the most significant global threats. In addition to mapping the problems facing Hungary and Hungarians today, we also sought to capture Hungarians' views on what Hungary would need in order to become a prosperous country 20 years from now. Our survey explores the public’s expectations of politicians and municipal governments, and it shows how the expectations of the ruling party supporters from the government differ from the expectations that the opposition party voters have regarding the opposition parties. We also look at how Hungarians view the issue of responsibility: who do they believe to be responsible for the state of the economy, or, for that matter, for realising our personal aspirations? By drawing on our previous research on the subject, we can also track how the perceptions of many issues have changed over time.
- A survey of the problems facing Hungary in autumn 2023: cost-of-living issues and health continue to top the list, whilst education, Russian influence, and LGBTQ issues are at the bottom.
- While corruption is a top problem for opposition voters, even they are not interested in the issue of Russian influence.
- The cost-of-living crisis in 2023 has hit even more people than the economic hardship during the Covid pandemic.
- Economic outlook: most expect their financial situation to either stagnate or deteriorate, few expect it to improve.
- Fidesz voters say the EU and the war have as much of an impact on the Hungarian economy as the government, while opposition voters say the government is clearly to blame.
- The Hungarian dream: a healthy life, financial security, and a safe future for one’s family. Hungarians rely primarily on family, friends, and themselves to help them achieve their dreams.
- What Hungarians expect from politicians: focus on inflation, helping people make ends meet and sort out their everyday problems.
- What the public expects from local authorities: Social subsidies, an improved GP system, building rental housing, and increasing green spaces.
- What will it take for Hungary to be a prosperous country 20 years from now? Better healthcare, higher wages, a developed economy, and less corruption.
- Global threats according to Hungarians: fear of pandemics and global economic crises tops the list once again, while worries about future wars have decreased.
Authors: András Bíró-Nagy - Kristóf Molnár - Áron Szászi - Attila Varga
The study was realised with the support of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest.
Policy Solutions is a progressive political research institute based in Budapest. It was founded in 2008 and it is committed to the values of liberal democracy, solidarity, equal opportunity, sustainability and European integration. The focus of Policy Solutions’ work is on understanding political processes in Hungary and the European Union. Among the pre-eminent areas of our research are the investigation of how the quality of democracy evolves, the analysis of factors driving euroscepticism, populism and the far-right, and election research.
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