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Hungary in the European Semester: Stuck in the world of neglect?

The CEU Campus
Wednesday, March 6, 2019, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

The School of Public Policy at Central European University and the Political Economy Research Group cordially invites you to the SPP Research Seminar

Mario Munta:
Hungary in the European Semester: Stuck in the world of neglect?

Hungarian authorities participate in EU’s annual exercise of macroeconomic, social and employment coordination – the so-called European semester. The European Commission identifies policy challenges, issues recommendations and expects engagement on the national level. This ongoing research is interested in whether the European semester fosters reform processes in Hungarian employment policy and how. The findings paint a grim picture. Hungarian interactions with the European semester follow a pragmatic, incentive-based logic. Financial incentives drive policy action, which nonetheless exhibits implementation deficits. EU recommendations fall on deaf ears, despite high level of awareness on the technical level. The Hungarian case confirms the importance of ensuring close ties between politicians and technical staff (vertical coordination) for EU policy suggestions not to fall on stony ground. The centralization of employment policy-making in Hungary has virtually shut the door on learning-based policy reforms.