Monday

20th Feb 2017

Hungary votes yes to EU

A staggering 83.69% of Hungarians said yes to the EU entry during the binding accession referendum held Saturday 12 April. The turnout was however low, with less than half of the citizens (45.62%) voting, while the majority of the people stayed at home.

The capital, Budapest, had the higher turnout estimated at 54,2% while the other towns and villages had a turnout around 40%.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • After Malta and Slovenia, Hungary is the third acceding country holding a EU referendum. (Photo: European Commission)

The question asked was "Do you agree that the Republic of Hungary should become a Member of the European Union?"

After Malta and Slovenia, Hungary is the third acceding country to hold a EU referendum.

All four parties in the Hungarian parliament backed joining the EU. Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy argued that the accession would be good for everybody. The centre-right Fidesz Party, led by former Prime Minister Victor Orban, warned that many could suffer initially, but that the EU would be good for Hungary in the long run.

"By coming out overwhelmingly in favour of EU membership today, the Hungarian voters have signalled their clear choice to build their future within a strong, united Europe," the European Commission said in a statement.

Hans-Gert Poettering, Chairman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament said it was a magnificent result. "This is the third successful referendum in the accession countries and we can now look forward with some optimism to positive results in the other referenda," he said.

Hungary poised to vote for EU on Saturday

Hungarian binding referendum for EU accession is going to be held this Saturday. Latest polls show 57% support for the EU integration. The "yes" campaign spent several millions euros in informing the population about EU structure and benefits. The "no" campaign was also active, but to a lesser extent.

Interview

'Don't push Turkey away', says writer Elif Shafak

Novelist and essayist Elif Shafak said that isolating Turkey would "play into the hands of populism" and that liberals everywhere should defend their values with "emotional intelligence".

Russia courts Serbia amid EU dispute

Serbian PM Vucic cut short a trip to Brussels, the same day as Russian foreign minister said the EU was pushing Balkan countries to "antagonise" Russia.

EU in damage control on festering Turkey relations

The EU commission wants to maintain relations with Turkey, despite an EU parliament vote to suspend accession talks amid renewed threats from Ankara to scrap a migrant swap deal.

Interview

'Don't push Turkey away', says writer Elif Shafak

Novelist and essayist Elif Shafak said that isolating Turkey would "play into the hands of populism" and that liberals everywhere should defend their values with "emotional intelligence".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  3. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  4. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  5. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  8. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  9. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"
  10. CISPECloud Computing Leaders Establish Data Protection Standards to Protect Customer Data
  11. Malta EU 2017Landmark Deal Reached With European Parliament on Portability of Online Content
  12. Belgrade Security ForumBSF 2017: Building a Common Future in the Age of Uncertainty