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MAGYAR AGORADELIBERATIVE WEEKENDBACKGROUND RESOURCESPROJECT RESULTS

Magyar Agora is the 21st century's answer to the public forum and meeting place where anyone can voice their own opinion on community matters, and can listen to the views of others. At Magyar Agora we become witnesses of the birth of "public opinion".

The Deliberative weekend is a unique experiment. For the first time in Hungary TV, radio, internet and press provided a public space for direct community participation, and for the shaping of citizens' views.
The events of the two days revealed if we are capable of thoughtful consideration, are we able to question and debate, and whether we see the world with different eyes when we discover the background to its problems.

Earlier this summer we invited the opinions of 1000 people from across the country regarding the gypsy minority's and the non-gypsy majority's difficulties in living together, and what could be done in order to reduce conflict.
We expected 250 of these at the public debate in September - for this weekend they personified Hungarian society. They debated the dilemmas of poverty, discrimination, segregation and integration, and did it in front of the cameras, together with those politicians and experts who are either in a position to take decisions, or can mould those decisions by their expertise and analysis.

By Sunday evening we known whether democratic debate has the power to alter people's opinion, what the effects of an open dialogue between public and politics might be, and what judgements could be reached by the nation if it was given a chance to be informed and to deliberate.
© ELTE-UNESCO Minority Studies Department

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