MINELRES: Hungary: Minority news, May 2006

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Fri Jun 2 16:10:44 2006

Original sender: Judit Solymosi <solymosij@mail.datanet.hu>

Office for National and Ethnic Minorities
Budapest, Hungary

Selection of news on national and ethnic minorities in Hungary
May 2006

New governmental structure

As already known, the parliamentary elections held on 9 and 23 April
brought the victory of MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party), which has
signed a coalition agreement with its former coalition partner SZDSZ
(SZDSZ Hungarian Liberal Party).

On 30 May 2006, the newly formed Parliament has adopted an amendment of
the Constitution by adding an additional paragraph to Article 34 of the
Constitution, according to which the provisions of any law concerning
the designation of a ministry, a minister or an organ of public
administration may be modified by a law adopted with the simple majority
of affirmative votes of the representatives present. This means that the
ruling majority will have the possibility to freely decide on the
structure of the government.

Accordingly, the Parliament adopted on the same day a law on the
ministries of the Republic of Hungary, which are as follows (the
translation of the names follows the Hungarian denomination, and the
ministries to be established may use different terminology for the
official translation):

1. Ministry of Health
2. Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
3. Ministry of Economy and Transport
4. Ministry of Defence
5. Ministry of Justice and Vigilance
6. Ministry of Environment and Water Management
7. Ministry of Foreign Affairs
8. Ministry of Education and Culture
9. Ministry of Self-Governance and Regional Development
10. Ministry of Finances
11. Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour

The twelfth minister in the Government will be the minister leading the
Prime Minister's Office.

The law makes it clear that:
A/ issues connected to municipal governments, public administration,
elections, etc. will be dealt with in the Ministry of Self-Governance
and Regional Development
B/ issues connected to citizenship, registration of births and
marriages, registration of personal data and addresses, public security,
the entry and the stay of foreigners and asylum will be dealt with in
the Ministry of Justice and Vigilance
C/ issues connected to the duties and powers of the former Ministry of
Youth, Family and Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities will be taken
over by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour
D/ the former ministries of Education and National Cultural Heritage
will merge
E/ issues connected to the Hungarian minorities living abroad as well as
the supervision of the Office for Hungarians abroad will be taken over
from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Prime Minister's Office.

The law does not explicitly mention the future status of the Office for
National and Ethnic Minorities. Related information will be included in
our next issue.

Ministries will be led by Ministers, who will have only one state
secretary as their deputy: the earlier division of this position to a
political state secretary and an administrative state secretary will be
eliminated. The different sectors within the ministries will be
supervised and directed by "sectorial state secretaries" whose number
shall not exceed five within one ministry.

Among the 18 standing committees of the new Parliament, there will be a
committee on human rights, minority and religious affairs that will be
led by a chair from the

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