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The framework of democratic institutions functioned until 2010, even though political culture and civic participation was rather poor. However, after 2010, this institutional system was turned into a "one-party" structure. A disproportionate electoral system was introduced; all the significant democratic institutions were occupied by the government party; the independence of the media deteriorated significantly, and the functioning of churches has been scandalously limited. Direct democratic initiatives are hampered by administrative measures time and time again. The role and significance of local governments has been curbed. People political and civic activities have been greatly reduced.


Quality of democracy

According to the research outcomes, the quality of democracy has continuously been in decline since the change of regime in Hungary, but this trend became even more pronounced since 2010. The perception of democracy as measured by Tárki is completely contradictory and extremely polarized across the political spectrum.


Voter turnout

The average voter turnout at the last elections in Hungary amounted to 47 percent of the citizens inscribed the voters’ registry, which was the lowest in the OECD, characterised by an average turnout of 72 percent.


Trust in institutions

The picture is quite controversial. According to Eurobarometer data, the population has trusts political parties, governments and in local governments  more than the EU average. Furthermore, levels of trust increased in all three dimensions between 2011 and 2013. Local governments enjoyed the trust of the majority of the population, i.e. 57 per cent in 2013. However the OECD says that only 40 percent of the population trusts political institutions, which is one of the lowest figures in the OECD area, where the average level of trust was 56 percent in 2012. According to results by the pollster TARKI, trust in institutions has in general increased in recent years. According to the OECD, Hungarians perceive severe corruption, and accordingly, haw limited trust in the government.


Civil activity

According to statistics, the number of non-governmental organizations is growing, but it does not say anything about NGO activity. Budgetary allocations to certain NGOs grew rather suspiciously before the last election. Support for green organizations, on the other hand, declined sharply over the past year, practically to zero. The government engaged in a witch-hunt of sorts against independent NGOS,  and exerted serious efforts to establish a loyal circle of “NGOs “ from above.


Independence of media

In a ranking comprising 180 countries in terms of the freedom of the press, Hungary is at the 64th place. Poland (19), Slovakia (20) and Romania (45) all managed to reach significantly better ranking. In the course of a single year, Hungary went down seven ranks, while all neighbouring countries have improved with the exception of Romania (-2).


State of municipalities

The system of local governments was one of the great achievements of the regime change, but its significance and role have been gradually decreasing. The present government nationalised public education and health care, confiscating many administrative functions away from local governments, and further weakened the role of local governments by establishing a district system. Thus both decision making and implementation are farther removed from the people.