Ukrainian Refugees in Hungary: Government Measures and Discourse in the First Year of the War
19 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2022
Date Written: December 28, 2022
This paper assesses the situation of Ukrainian refugees arriving to Hungary because of the Russian aggression starting in February 2022. It begins by reviewing some of the major migration trends into Hungary as a receiving and transit country of humanitarian migrants. It subsequently presents data on Hungarian public opinion regarding the war and the war refugees, followed by the coverage of Ukrainian migration in the Hungarian media. The analysis shows that the right-wing Fidesz-led government’s discourse on the new refugee crisis rests on an antithesis with the previous one occurring in 2015-2016, i.e., a binary opposition between Ukrainian refugees as “genuine” and “familiar” versus the “dangerous” migrations from Africa and the Middle East. Furthermore, the article emphasizes that despite grandiose public claims of high-raking government officials regarding Ukrainian refugees, actual policy measures have been quite limited.
Keywords: Ukrainian refugees; migration policy; political discourse; Hungary
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