Anna Frenyo, Hungarian Journalist in Berlin
Josef Janning, Senior Policy Fellow and Head of Berlin Office, European Council on Foreign Relations
Eckart D. Stratenschulte, Director of the European Academy Berlin
Gemma Pörzgen, Journalist
On June 8, we presented the results of the EU Cohesion Monitor at the European Academy Berlin, together with a panel of experts. The discussion focused on the cohesion process of the the eastern-central European member states of the EU. Largely unnoticed in the years of the financial crisis, their development presents a genuine success story compared to the path of several southern EU member states. However, the study also shows that in terms of cohesion characteristics, the EU member states are drifting apart, demonstrating very particular profiles.
The divergence between the country profiles is perhaps nowhere clearer than when looking at Hungary. It is strongly integrated on a structural level, but shows low results on the individual cohesion level: As in 2014, 80% of the Hungarians didn’t interact with other EU citizens within the past 12 months. According to Hungarian journalist Anna Frenyo, this is the result of poor language training at school and a significant urban-rural gap. But even more decisively, nepotism and misappropriation of EU funds lead to a lack of confidence of Hungarian citizens in the EU institutions.
All country profiles and results of the EU Cohesion Monitor are fully transparent. To learn more visit www.ecfr.eu/eucohesionmonitor.