Skip to main content

Hungarian Parliament hue changed: Photo: “Budapest: Hungarian Parliament“, by Jorge Franganillo licensed under CC BY 2.0. Hue modified from the original

Helena Segarra (2023) Dismantling the reception of asylum seekers: Hungary’s illiberal asylum policies and EU responses, East European Politics


Since 2015, the Hungarian government successfully securitised migration and profoundly changed the country’s asylum system. Through qualitative research and expert interviews, this article demonstrates how reception infrastructure was extra-territorialised, while reception standards were dissolved. This was accompanied by the criminalising of civil society and asylum seeker support groups. The ramifications of this externalisation impact asylum seekers’ rights to a dignified reception in EU member states, and contravene EU citizens’ freedoms. The article discusses these developments within European securitisation European human rights discourses, and Hungary’s illiberal governance. It also identifies weaknesses of common European reception standards in light of illiberal policymaking.

The Illiberalism Studies Program studies the different faces of illiberal politics and thought in today’s world, taking into account the diversity of their cultural context, their intellectual genealogy, the sociology of their popular support, and their implications on the international scene.