Let’s Invalidate the Hungarian Refugee Quota Referendum!

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“This is our country: Let’s invalidate the referendum!” is the title of the common statement of 22 NGOs protesting against the inhuman politics of the Hungarian government against refugees.

The Hungarian government has unleashed a xenophobic hate campaign ahead of the refugee referendum on October 2. Twenty-two NGOs are urging citizens to reject the government’s fearmongering and invalidate the referendum.

Hungarians will go to the polls on October 2 to answer the following question: Do you want the European Union to be able to mandate the obligatory resettlement of non-Hungarian citizens into Hungary even without the approval of the National Assembly?

We, Hungarian NGOs and citizens with a sense of responsibility for our country, believe in a country where our common matters are managed with humaneness, solidarity and mutual respect. We are concerned about seeing the government threaten our common values, therefore we speak out against the referendum scheduled for October 2, as well as the hate campaign surrounding the vote.

We decided to start a campaign to invalidate the referendum, which fails to promote our common concerns and is both pointless and inhuman.

‘Pointless’ question

The question put to referendum fails to promote our common concerns. It does not offer a solution either to the situation of refugees or the future of the European Union. It rejects solidarity with our fellow human beings in plight, just like with the other European member states. It has no intention to create a framework for peaceful coexistence. We are convinced that nobody can feel safe in the long run where public discourse is defined by hatred.

The question put to referendum is pointless. No provision on compulsory “resettlement” quotas has ever been adopted, let alone discussed, in the EU. If such a question were put on the agenda in the future, Hungary would have a place at the negotiating table.

Moreover, the response given to the referendum question does not entail any specific legal consequences, nor does it make clear exactly what entitlement the government asks for from the citizens, as this has never been revealed.

‘Shattered solidarity’

The question put to a vote is also inhuman. The goal of the referendum and the accompanying campaign is to incite hatred against refugees. Its only potential consequence is the further weakening of the already shattered social solidarity, thereby reinforcing the government in continuing with its hate campaign.

The real question that is going to be at stake on October 2 is whether this country will ever be able to become a humane community. This is the goal we work for 365 days a year — on October 2 and on every other day.

Some of us will cast an invalid vote, while others will boycott the coerced anti-refugee referendum. Our goal is nevertheless the same: to invalidate this referendum.

Join us, share our statement, talk to your friends, colleagues and neighbours. Convince them, too, thus we can prove together: our country is based on humaneness and solidarity.


Artemisszió Foundation

Eleven Emlékmű

Eötvös Károly Institute

Független Előadó-művészeti Szövetség

Chances For Children Association 

Hálózat a Tanszabadságért

Hívatlanul Hálózat

Human Platform Association

The School of Public Life

Krétakör Alapítvány

Hungarian Helsinki Committee

Magyar Női Érdekérvényesítő Szövetség

Hungarian Europe Society

Magyarországi Evangéliumi Testvérközösség

Migration Aid

Migrant Solidarity Group of Hungary

Oktatói Hálózat

Oltalom Charity Society

Opera Közhasznú Kulturális Egyesület

Let’s Help Together!

Hungarian Society Of Writers, Critics, and Literary Translators

Hungarian Civil Liberites Union

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