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Hungary/ 5.1 General legislation  

5.1.2 Division of jurisdiction

The reorganisation of regional administration has been an open unsolved issue ever since the regime changes. The county system was established by the founding king St Stephen in the 11th century – which makes it hard to exert major changes. In 2012 most of the cultural functions, especially maintaining institutions like county museums and libraries, were given to cities.

The 19 historical counties have elected local governments, differently from the seven so called statistical or planning regions. Although the seven regions were not given effective administrative power, they are the basic units with regard to EU regional development programmes.

The same logic of medium term planning enhanced the formation of 174 so-called small or micro-regions: these are not full partners of the central government, however they have an important position in applying for EU funds, including for cultural matters. There are attempts to reinstate the historical unit of the járás next to or instead of the micro-regions.

Besides the central government, the only level that really matters is that of the nearly 3 200 local (municipal) governments. This number includes 328 towns as well as 23 districts of Budapest.

Chapter published: 18-11-2016

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