Hungary

III - Changes to Constitutional Law

Nature national instruments     
III.1
What is the character of the legal instruments adopted at national level to implement Euro-crisis law (constitutional amendment, organic laws, ordinary legislation, etc)?

Article E, paragraphs 2 and 4 regulate the cases in which a Cardinal Act should implement an international treaty.

‘(2) In order to participate in the European Union as a Member State, and on the basis of an international treaty, Hungary may, to the extent necessary to exercise the rights and fulfill the obligations set out in the founding treaties, exercise some of its competences deriving from the Fundamental Law jointly with other Member States, through the institutions of the European Union.

(4) The authorization for expressing consent to be bound by an international treaty referred to in paragraph (2) shall require the votes of two-thirds of all Members of Parliament.’

According to Article T paragraph 4 of the Fundamental Act of Hungary, a Cardinal Act of Parliament is an Act of Parliament for the adoption or amendment of which the votes of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament present shall be required.

Decision to amend article 136 TFEU
European Council Decision 2011/199/EU of 25 March 2011 amending Article 136 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union with regard to a stability mechanism for Member States whose currency is the euro, OJ L 91, 6.4.2011, p. 1 was incorporated into the Hungarian legal system by Act IX of 2012, that is a Cardinal Act. (see question V.2)

The Fiscal Compact,
(Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union) was ratified by Act XXXII of 2013, which is also a Cardinal Act. (see questions IX.2 and IX.4)

According to Article 15 paragraphs 3 and 4 of the Fundamental Act of Hungary, acting within its competence, the Government adopts decrees by statutory authorization on any matter not regulated by an act, but no decree of the Government shall conflict with any act.[1]

The financial assistance instruments were incorporated into the Hungarian legislation by decrees of Government. It was the Memorandum of Understanding that was translated and released by the Government in the 282/2008 Government statute, released on 28, November, 2008. Amendments of the Memorandum of Understanding were released in statutes on April 4th, 2009 (67/2009.), June 24th, 2009 (135/2009.), June 30th, 2009 (140/2009.) and February 28th, 2010 (28/2010.) (see question X.4).

Other Euro-crisis tools, such as reactions to the excessive deficit procedure or the Macro-economic imbalances procedure were implemented in the so-called national plans, like the convergence programmes of 2011[2], 2012[3]and 2013[4]and the Széll Kálmán plan that is a medium term plan on economic and financial policies of the Government[5].

Constitutional amendment   
III.2   
Have there been any constitutional amendments in response to the Euro-crisis or related to Euro-crisis law? Or have any amendments been proposed?

No, there has not been any and there are no plans of amending the Fundamental Act of Hungary in relation to the Euro-crisis legislation.

Constitutional context
III.3
If national constitutional law already contained relevant elements, such as a balanced budget rule or independent budgetary councils, before the crisis that are now part of Euro-crisis law, what is the background of these rules?

National constitutional law contains relevant elements, such as the balanced budget role in Articles N and 36, but this was introduced to the legal system in 2012. A Fiscal Council was created in 2008 as result of an international pressure, as detailed in the answer to question VII.5.

Purpose constitutional amendment 
III.4
What is the purpose of the constitutional amendment and what is its position in the constitution?

No amendments made, and no amendments proposed.

Relationship with EU law        
III.5
Is the constitutional amendment seen as changing the relationship between national and European constitutional law?

No constitutional amendments.

Organic law      
III.6
Have there been changes to organic laws or other types of legislation that are of a different nature or level than ordinary legislation, in relation to Euro-crisis law or the budgetary process?

The Treaties of the Euro-crisis were promulgated in a ‘Cardinal Act’, see also the answer to question III.1. According to Article T paragraph 4 of the Fundamental Act of Hungary, Cardinal Act of Parliament is an Act of Parliament for the adoption or amendment of which the votes of two-thirds of the Members of Parliament present shall be required. These acts differ from ordinary Acts of Parliament only in the way of adoption and amendment, otherwise they do not forego ordinary acts and cannot contradict the provisions of the Fundamental Act, the constitution of Hungary.

Constitutional amendment and ordinary law       
III.7
If ordinary legislation was adopted in conjunction with a constitutional amendment, what is the relationship between the two?

No constitutional amendments.

Perception source of legal change   
III.8

In the public and political discussions on the adoption of ordinary legislation, what was the perception on the appropriate legal framework? Was the ordinary legislation seen as implementing national constitutional law, or Euro-crisis law?

Pieces of Hungarian legislation in connection with Euro-crisis law were seen as implementing European Union law. In case of a Parliementary debate, both Governmental and oppostition parties took it granted that EU law was being implemented by the Parliament or the Government.

Miscellaneous
III.9
What other information is relevant with regard to Hungary and to changes to national (constitutional) law?

No other relevant information.

[1] The text of the Fundamental Act of Hungary is available here: http://www.kormany.hu/download/e/02/00000/The%20New%20Fundamental%20Law%20of%20Hungary.pdf

[2]http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nrp/cp_hungary_en.pdf

[3]http://ec.europa.eu/economy_finance/economic_governance/sgp/pdf/20_scps/2012/01_programme/hu_2012-04-23_cp_en.pdf

[4]http://ec.europa.eu/europe2020/pdf/nd/cp2013_hungary_en.pdf

[5]http://www.kormany.hu/download/4/d1/20000/Sz%C3%A9ll%20K%C3%A1lm%C3%A1n%20Terv.pdf