COMPENDIUM CULTURAL POLICIES AND TRENDS IN EUROPE
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Five parliamentary acts and several government decrees on culture were passed between 2011 and 2014.

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Hungary/ 3. Competence, decision-making and administration  

3.2 Overall description of the system

The single-chamber Parliament is in charge of legislation. In addition to its role in preparing laws, the Committee for Culture and Press also fulfils supervisory functions by occasionally putting various issues related to culture on its agenda. On the whole, however, the Parliament and its Committees have limited autonomy, in most cases reflecting the will of the government or the dominant parties. This has become especially apparent after spring 2010 when Fidesz gained 2/3 of parliamentary seats – a feat that was repeated in spring 2014 – ushering the regime called the System of National Cooperation (Nemzeti Együttműködés Rendszere). The radical right-wing populist party Jobbik secured 20.5% of the votes during the Parliamentary elections the same year. Submitting important draft laws by individual MPs, thus shunning the cumbersome procedure of adjusting through governmental offices, committees and organisations, has lately been a frequent practice, also in the case of culture related laws (like the Media Act). Since 2010 a state secretary for culture within the larger Ministry of Human Resources has been in charge of culture. Nevertheless, important domains have been moved to other bodies of the government. After intermediate changes during the past five years, cultural institutions abroad are now supervised by the Minister for Foreign Economic Affairs, the greater part of the financing of the film industry by the Minister of Economic Development, and protection and regulation of built heritage and archaeology shared between the Prime Minister's Office and the regional (county level) Government Offices. In the Prime Minister's Office there is also a deputy state secretary for major cultural investments. In addition, the realm of the state secretary for culture within the Ministry of Human Resources is further limited by the gradual shifting of competences towards the Hungarian Academy of Arts.

The National Cultural Fund is a semi-autonomous institution and remains in charge of financing projects. Other quangos, quasi non-governmental organisations which used to play important roles in the administration and financing of various cultural domains (film, visual arts, book publishing and translation) were dismantled and their functions were re-channelled to new structures.

The instance of reorganisation of greatest weight was connected to the new constitution (The Fundamental Law of Hungary), which entered effect on 1 January 2012. Besides the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (established in 1827) the constitution recognises the Hungarian Academy of Arts (Magyar Művészeti Akadémia – MMA). A non-governmental association with this name had been in existence since 1992 and it became upgraded to the rank of a public foundation by Act CIX in 2011. Altogether five parliamentary acts and several government decrees were passed about the MMA between 2011 and 2016 assuring its position in all major decision making procedures in culture.


Chapter published: 07-11-2016

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