Hungarian cultural policy: between East and West

Author(s):  G.A. Nelaeva, candidate of Sciences, University of Tyumen, Tyumen, Russia,

Issue:  Volume 46, № 3

Rubric:  Topical issues of political science

Annotation:  Hungarian cultural policy at the moment can be characterized by its «Eastern opening» (Keleti Nyitás), which involves establishing closer links with countries that are not EU members. Moreover, after the 2008 financial crisis Hungary is increasingly distancing itself from the European agenda as well as it openly criticizes the EU on a number of issues (with migration being the most notable example). It is not unusual to come across rhetoric that emphasizes unique Hungarian origins as opposed to the European ones. This policy orientation represents quite a significant departure from the early 1990s «back to Europe» aspirations. In this context, the question of «Visegrad identity» (and relevance of Visegrad Four as a regional group more generally), becomes important again. In this article we are trying to trace the evolution on Hungarian cultural policy since the early 1990s throughout the 2000s, as well as problems that Hungary currently faces in implementing this policy. Looking at the main documents and institutions charged with making «soft power» a reality, we identify Hungary’s priorities, instruments, mechanisms and main programs in the course of its cultural policy.

Keywords:  Cultural policy, Visegrad group, Hungary, soft power, Balassi Institute, foreign policy.

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