Successful open dialogue session in Hungary

The open dialogue session was held in October, organised by the Association for a Sustainable Future and the Municipality of Nagykanizsa. The successful event produced important findings that can be used in future local youth policies.

In our country we have noticed a certain political apathy among young people.  They do not consider it important to follow public events and to participate actively in the affairs of political communities. They are concerned with their own lives, with what is happening in their immediate environment and often lack information on social issues. In the long term, this phenomenon can easily lead to the disintegration of democratic institutions.

This kind of comfort status may also stem from the fact that the isolation of recent years and the constant sense of insecurity caused by the COVID epidemic have pushed young people even more towards building their own lives. It is difficult to reach them, to mobilise them, to engage them in a cause. The priority for policy makers is to make better use of the communication channels they use.

Young people feel that they are alone with their problems and that, despite making their voices heard, they cannot make a real difference at local or national level. Individual and societal needs must be examined. Most of them look to an external party to solve their problems. Their participatory initiatives are usually supported by an NGO. In many cases, the role of the state is taken over by NGOs in areas that concern young people.

Young people understand the importance of social participation and that the basis and essence of democracy is that everyone participates in the decisions that affect their lives.  In Hungary, the state has entrusted democratic socialisation to families and the media, as well as to alternative schools and the NGOs that take on this task. The institutionalisation of democratic education in Hungarian public education throughout the learning pathway is necessary for the future.

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