Regional division of jurisdiction has been an open issue ever since the regime change. The county system was established by the founding king St Stephen in the 11thcentury – which makes it hard to exert major changes. In 2012, most of the cultural functions, especially maintaining institutions like county museums and libraries, were transferred to cities.
The 19 historical counties (megye) have elected local governments, differently from the seven NUTS (nomenclature of territorial units for statistics) regions that are the basic units regarding EU regional development programmes.
The 174 districts (járás) do not have local governments or chief administrators. The district offices fulfil roles in specific areas of public administration but have no competence in culture.
Besides the central government, the only level that really matters is that of the 3 178 local (municipal) governments. This number includes 346 towns as well as 23 districts of Budapest.