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post-2007 EU accession era have actors and key players similar to those mentioned above, and if so, from which social strata? The broader context of the study is therefore the processes that emerged after 1989, but which are still at work today

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Almost each of the political forces and the great majority of the public saw no alternative to Euro-Atlantic integration, that is, accession to NATO and the EC (after 1992 the EU) when Hungary regained its independence in 1990. Membership in both organizations had a number of internal and external implications too. Budapest had to introduce sweeping reforms in practically all walks of life. Thus, for instance, NATO-membership required the establishment of a parliamentary democracy, a functioning market economy, and the observance of civil and human rights. At the same time, Hungary had to sign so-called basic treaties with three of its neighbors in which it again committed itself to peaceful relations and the renunciation of any attempt to regain territories it had lost to the countries affected after the First and the Second World Wars. EU-membership needed even more extensive restructuring of the various Hungarian institutions from law enforcement through finances to social services. In addition, Budapest expected that one of the major dilemmas of reconciling the so-called “Hungarian-Hungarian” question with the “good neighbor” policy would be settled within the framework of European integration. The expectations on behalf of the two sides have only been partially realized yet. Thus, Hungary consistently spends much less on defense than the required level within the Atlantic Alliance; Budapest has been trying to compensate with a relative prominent presence in foreign missions. As for the EU, the threat of a “second class membership” has not disappeared; in fact, after the beginning of the economic recession in 2008 it has even become a more realistic perspective; in reality, Hungary has had to accept a relative loss of power even in Central and Eastern Europe. However, Hungary has a vested interest in a “Strong Europe” (this was the official slogan of Hungary’s EU-Presidency during the first six months of 2011) in which “more Europe” should not exclude the country’s closer relations with other regions in the world.

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working structures that sanction breaching the bargains. Slowly, after almost 2 decades, land restitution and EU accession was achieved – but those who once waited patiently became more and more shocked that all this was not, by any means, the

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; The period from 1992 to 2007 – the date of EU accession – a period of slow transformation, with a brief period of capitalisation in 1996‒97 when the pace of change accelerated and the cooperative system was replaced by a land-lease enterprise system

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. Four major periods of these changes can be distinguished: the post-World War II transition period, the age of socialist transformation, decollectivization, and the era of transformations in the early 21st century that began with EU accession. In the mid

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postcommunist welfare reforms in Hungary: the new challenges of EU-accession . Revija za socijalnu politiku , 13 ( 3–4 ): 309 – 333 , https://doi.org/10.3935/rsp.v13i3.644 . 10.3935/rsp.v13i3

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The aim and theoretical framework of the research Following EU accessions in 2004/2007, significant labor migration began from Central and Eastern European nations to Western European countries ( Rangelova 2009 ; Favell 2018 ). Nationals of

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In post socialist countries that now form the eastern member states of the European Union there was a general vision of the society from the early nineties to catch up to the developed West. The dream of reaching the level of western European economic development and living standards was the main driver for economic transition and EU integration. In spite of modest convergence, however, the difference between the West and the East has remained dominant until today, ten years after the EU accession, while the core—periphery duality is also an important economic-geographic dimension in the European single market. The changing relative position of these regions in economic terms and the interrelation between the East and West of the EU is in the focus of this paper. It addresses some specifics of regional economic development of this area and particularly of Hungary at both macroregional and regional levels paying attention to the economic crisis which started in 2007. In most of the eastern bloc, economic transition and EU integration were associated with several challenges and followed by imbalanced regional development as a result of the dominant role of the foreign direct investments in regional development, which led to the territorial concentration and increase of regional inequalities among regions within these countries.

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uniós csatlakozás előtti falusi Magyarországon [Country Caleidoscope. Different Chances, Different Hopes in Rural Hungary before Accession to the EU] . In Kovács , Teréz (ed) A vidék Magyarország az EU-csatlakozás előtt [Rural Hungary before the EU

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series, in a volume of studies titled Változó ruralitások. A vidékiség mai formái [Changing Ruralities: Today's Forms of Rurality] – provides a comprehensive picture of the transformation of the Romanian village after the EU accession. It examines rural

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