Hungary is making significant strides in revolutionizing digital citizen services with the introduction of a national digital space. Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén and State Secretary for International Communications Zoltán Kovács emphasized the importance of providing Hungarian citizens with seamless access to their rights and services, regardless of geographical boundaries.
Speaking to MTI, Zsolt Semjén underscored the necessity of adapting to the digital age, where new technologies and digitalization can facilitate the provision of essential services. He emphasized that regardless of where a Hungarian citizen resides, they should have the opportunity to maintain cultural and institutional links with their home country. This includes direct access to state services, relevant information, digital content in their mother tongue, and the ability to embrace their Hungarian identity.
The existing digital services offered by the Hungarian government, such as the Ügyfélkapu, magyarország.hu services, Filmio, and public media broadcasting, are just the beginning. Zsolt Semjén envisioned a broader range of Hungarian digital services becoming available to citizens, demonstrating Hungary's commitment to embracing the opportunities presented by the digital revolution.
Furthermore, Zsolt Semjén highlighted the limitations faced by citizens and national minorities within the European Union (EU) and worldwide. Despite the principle of unrestricted services, language barriers and access restrictions prevent individuals from consuming content in their mother tongue. The creation of a "national digital/virtual space" aims to overcome these challenges by separating the legal and service opportunities associated with Hungarian citizenship from traditional geographic limitations.
To enable seamless access to Hungarian digital services, the government plans to employ VPN (Virtual Private Network) technology. From January 1, 2024, all Hungarians, regardless of their current place of residence, will be granted a "Hungarian" IP address. This will ensure their access to the authoritative digital content available in Hungary through a designated "digital platform," requiring simple and free registration.
Zsolt Semjén explained that while users of public digital services are physically located outside Hungary, they will be considered "digital Hungarian citizens" by the Hungarian legislator. This approach allows for the resolution of digital challenges and opportunities in both technical and legal terms.
In mid-May, the Hungarian Parliament laid the foundation for the adoption of "digital public service" legislation by amending the Hungaricum Act. This legislation mandates the operation of a virtual private network (VPN) by the Hungarian state for the benefit of Hungarians living abroad, enabling them to connect free of charge.
Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén concluded by emphasizing that the right to embrace one's identity is a fundamental human right, and it is the constitutional duty of every Hungarian to work towards the preservation of their nation. With the creation of a national digital space, Hungary is at the forefront of digital citizen services, demonstrating its commitment to empowering its citizens in the digital age.