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. 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). In the restructuring that took place after the 2010 elections a state secretary for culture within the larger Ministry of National (since 2012 Human) Resources became in charge of the arts and heritage and, as a third strand, it is in charge of the professional guidance of socio-cultural activities, with community cultural centres in focus. Artistic education is the responsibility of the education departments of the Ministry of Human Resources; financial support to culture in local governments is, however, beyond the responsibility of the Ministry. As in Hungary the ministry in charge of culture was a separate unit for a short while only in history, instead of the name of the actual and former larger body incorporating the top state administration for culture "culture ministry" will be used in this text. The supervision of cultural institutions abroad was moved to the Ministry of Public Administration and Justice, and the greater part of the financing of the film industry to the Ministry of Economic Development. In 2012 the Ministry for the Interior took over responsibility for built heritage and archaeology (see chapter 4.2.2).
The Equal Treatment Authority reports to the State Secretary of Social Affairs and Labour at the Ministry of Human Resources. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Fundamental Rights ("ombudsman") is also in charge of minority rights.
The issue of the Hungarian minorities abroad comes under the Office of the Minister of State for Hungarian Communities Abroad, which administers support for cultural activities and needs of Hungarian communities in the neighbouring countries.
The National Cultural Fund is a semi-autonomous branch of the culture ministry and remains in charge of financing projects (see also chapter 5.2).
In the early years after the regime change a number of quangos, quasi non-governmental organisations came about, which have played important roles in the administration and financing of various cultural domains. During 2011 the government set about dismantling these quangos by re-channelling their functions: these changes are discussed in the relevant chapters.
A peculiar instance of reorganisation is connected to the new constitution (The Fundamental Law of Hungary), which was submitted to Parliament and passed in the spring months (with effect from 1 January 2012). Besides the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (established in 1827) the constitution identifies the Hungarian Academy of Arts. A non-governmental association with this name has been in existence since 1992 and it has been upgraded to the rank of a public foundation by Act CIX during the summer.