The current pandemic and the previous lockdown had effects on several areas of life, including work and social life. However, there is a rather neglected sphere which is rarely discussed in the media compared with other topics.
2020 was a special year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The introduction of the restrictive measures had a negative effect on both human rights and the economy – which is true for both Hungary and the Netherlands.
On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, I asked four MEPs from Central-Eastern Europe what they think where we stand now on the issue of female political leadership in Europe. I was interested in what they consider the biggest obstacles for women pursuing a career in politics.
While most EU member states are primarily concerned with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent economic crisis, the Hungarian and Polish governments’ are focusing on opposition to the EU’s plan to “promote gender equality and women’s empowerment”.
Dóra Dúró, deputy leader of the Our Home Movement (“Mi Hazánk Mozgalom” far-right, national-radical mini-party), tore up and then shredded the book “Meseország mindenkié” (Storyland is for everyone) at a press conference in September.
In recent months, the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE) became the new target of the Hungarian government’s culture war. The experiences of the institution’s response may change the nature of future demonstrations.
The necessity of a reformed Hungarian higher education system became clear in the 2000s: after the regime change in 1990, the number of higher education students was increasing heavily, which decreased the quality of higher education and the value of university diplomas.
The pandemic can rule the agenda, but it cannot rule the ideology. This is the main lesson of the past few days in Hungary. The government has introduced restrictions and a crisis management plan, while PM Viktor Orbán has began writing the new chapter of the Hungarian ideological-cultural war in the meantime.
In the last few months, life at the universities has changed dramatically and involuntarily. Lectures and tutorials have shifted online, Zoom became the new lecture hall and seminar room, and students had a taste of what it is like to have their exams or finals take place online.