Why Peace Corps left Hungary

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Hungary: Message Center for Hungary RPCV's: Why Peace Corps left Hungary

By Nancy Wallace ( on Monday, September 04, 2006 - 8:24 am: Edit Post

Could you explain the circumstances for PC leaving Hungary. We PCVs in Bulgaria understand that it is because of Hungary joining the EU. As Bulgaria is expected to join in Jan 2007, we are wondering if this seems to be standard procedures.

By Chris Frost (ip72-192-193-97.dc.dc.cox.net - on Friday, April 13, 2007 - 8:22 pm: Edit Post

Yes and no. There was a massive growth of volunteers in the early 90s. Budget cuts in the mid 90s forced them to reassess. Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic all got closed mainly because the countries were developed enough to have English teachers and tons of EU money was flowing into the countries for development purposes. It closed before Hungary joined the EU (04). I think it was 99 but I can't recall exactly.

Not exactly because of the EU. Given Bulgaria's state of development, I would expect for the program to continue at least until a new administration comes along. Though USAID is closing soon so the days are numbered.

By Chris Winters H8 (ceoemail.ceomedia.com - on Monday, April 16, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit Post

The final group (mine) left Hungary in 97. The official reason given was a "level of development" thing, but budget cuts in D.C. (the height of the Gingrich revolution, if you recall) were the real reason, and rather cut all programs by 20 percent or so, they cut 12 by 100 percent, based roughly on how developed they were. That, at least, was my ground-level understanding of it. We had to read between the lines.
I actually think Poland stuck around a bit longer, because I think Tunisia was the third CEE-ME country closed (it was three per region, if I recall).
With the Dems in Congress, I'd guess Bulgaria is safer both from the budget cuts and from getting too developed too quickly.

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