The Republikon Institute hosted a conference based on a research that had been carried out during the spring with the participation of the Institute. The aim of the research was to study the similarities and differences between the Hungarian capital and other types of settlements regarding the residents’ worldview, political opinion and media consumption.
The participants of the conference were György Csepeli (social psychologist) Márta Józsa (editor, Klubrádió), György Thury (researcher, Republikon Budapest Műhely) and Tamás Wittinghoff (mayor, Budaörs).
The conference started with the introduction of the topic by Andrea Virág (strategic director of the Republikon Institute) followed by the presentation of the findings of the research by György Thury. The following part of the conference consisted of a panel discussion with the guests moderated by Dániel Mikecz (lead researcher of the Republikon Institute).
The main conclusion of the research is that in contrast with the existing stereotypes, the differences between Budapest and the countryside in terms of the studied factors are not that conspicuous. Although there are certain variations in most findings, the overall picture suggests that the majority of the country, regardless of the settlement type, believes that there are grave problems in the country. Politics can be considered the main factor that divides the country.
The conclusion of the research surprised all members of the panel discussion. They all agreed with Márta Józsa’s argument that a severe information poverty is present in most parts of Hungary as the population in smaller settlements often do not have access to diverse political content due to the lack of political TV and radio channels as well as newspapers. Moreover, problems introduced in the nation-wide media are mostly Budapest centric. While they all agreed that the creation of local opposition newspapers would be a great necessity, Tamás Wittinghoff highlighted the absence of financial resources and political support of the local councils as an important obstacle. To bring people out of the political apathy, the whole society should actively work together, including civil organisations (argued by György Thury), opposition parties (argued by Tamás Wittinghoff) and people who move to smaller settlements from bigger towns (argued by Márta Józsa). The prospects of the 2022 parliamentary elections divided the participants; while György Csepeli and Tamás Wittinghoff experience a great apathy among voters, György Thury awaits the opposition primary optimistically and agrees with Márta Józsa in the fact that the opposition should not only concentrate on the Prime Minister candidate, but also on the local candidates.
Co-founded by the Europe for Citizens Programme
of the Europen Union