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Hungary:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

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Overview Hungary

Contents

Hungary:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Hungary:Historical Development

Hungary:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Hungary:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Hungary:Political and Economic Situation

Hungary:Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Hungary:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Hungary:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Hungary:Organisation of Private Education

Hungary:National Qualifications Framework

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Hungary:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Hungary:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Hungary:Funding in Education

Hungary:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Hungary:Higher Education Funding

Hungary:Adult Education and Training Funding

Hungary:Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 2-3 years

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Hungary:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Hungary:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Hungary:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Hungary:Higher Education

Hungary:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Hungary:First Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Bachelor

Hungary:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Hungary:Second Cycle Programmes

Hungary:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Hungary:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Hungary:Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Distribution of Responsibilities

Hungary:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Hungary:Main Providers

Hungary:Main Types of Provision

Hungary:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Hungary:Teachers and Education Staff

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Management and Other Education Staff

Hungary:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Hungary:Management Staff for Higher Education

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Hungary:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Quality Assurance

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Hungary:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Educational Support and Guidance

Hungary:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Hungary:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Hungary:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Hungary:Mobility and Internationalisation

Hungary:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Mobility in Higher Education

Hungary:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Hungary:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Hungary:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Hungary:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Hungary:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Hungary:National Reforms in School Education

Hungary:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Hungary:National Reforms in Higher Education

Hungary:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Hungary:European Perspective

Hungary:Legislation

Hungary:Institutions

Hungary:Bibliography

Hungary:Glossary

In Hungary, the present structure of the state and the system of public administration institutions were established following the democratic transition in 1989-90. Since then they have not been changed apart from minor rectifications, modifications and modernisation.{

The system of state

Besides the Fundamental Law and the Act on Electoral Procedure, the Act on the Election of Members of Parliament, adopted by the Parliament on 23 December 2011, regulates the electoral system used in Hungary.

The Parliament consists of 199 members from the elections in 2014 (before there were 386 seats). Pursuant to the new rules, the mixed electoral system consists of one round (there were two rounds) and the efficiency threshold was annulled: only the candidates receiving the most valid votes obtain a mandate, irrespective of the number of actual voters. Instead of the 176 individual constituencies there is only 106.

Hungarian minorities abroad received the right to vote, but Hungarian citizens who reside outside Hungary may only vote for party lists. The national minorities are provided with the possibility to obtain a mandate in an easier manner, and in case they fail to win a mandate, they may send a national minority advocate to the Parliament.

The Parliament elects the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the members of the Constitutional Court (and also the Chair of the Constitutional Court from September 2011), the Parliamentary Ombudsmen, the President of the Supreme Court and the General Prosecutor. The President of the Republic of Hungary is elected by secret ballot for five years by a two-third majority. Hungarian citizens with right to vote above the age of 35 are eligible for the presidency. The first President of the Republic of Hungary was Árpád Göncz, elected in 1990 and re-elected in 1995. In 2000 the Parliament elected Ferenc Mádl, and in 2005 László Sólyom was elected as President. In 2010 Pál Schmitt was elected as President, who resigned in 2012 and was followed by János Áder.

The president’s powers relate to several functions. The Parliament may be adjourned and dissolved by the President of the Republic. He ratifies law and ensures its promulgation. If he disagrees with a law, he has a one-time veto power over it before ratifying. He announces general parliamentary elections. In addition, he may initiate various measures: the Prime Minister is elected by the Members of Parliament based on the recommendation made by the President and also the President gives mandate to form government. He appoints, among others, the ministers, secretaries of state (state ministers), army generals and professional judges. He exercises the right to grant presidential pardon for individuals although the counter-signature of the Prime Minister is also required. The President of the Republic is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces and he has certain rights concerning foreign affairs as well.

Executive power – government functions and the highest-level control of public administration – is exercised by the government, in which the Prime Minister plays a dominant role. The Parliament holds the vote on the election of the Prime Minister and on the adoption of the Government's program at the same time. The mandate of the head of government is also strengthened by the fact that he/she can only be replaced after that the Parliament passes a motion of no-confidence. The Government is formed upon appointment of the Ministers. The establishment of ministries is the prerogative of the National Assembly; their list is set out in law. The government formed in 2006 and all succeeding governments reduced the number of ministries and government agencies and also made attempts to rationalize the internal organisations of ministries in order to cut back state expenditure and to simplify central administration. At the same time, measures were adopted to strengthen the service providing role of the state as well as to improve the transparency of state administration.

The Constitutional Court of Hungary (CC) is a body of fifteen members elected for the period of 12 years by two-thirds majority of the Members of Parliament. The President of the Constitutional Court is elected from the members of the Court for a period ending at the expiration of his term of office as Constitutional Court Judge by two-thirds majority of the Members of Parliament. The members of the Constitutional Court may not be party members and may not pursue political activity. The term of office of the members of the Constitutional Court is 12 years. The members of the Constitutional Court may not be re-elected. Persons who were members of the government or leading officials of a party or held high state position in the four years preceding the day of election may not be members of the Constitutional Court.

The Act on the Constitutional Court re-defines the competence of the CC in accordance with the new Constitution (or Fundamental Law) that entered into force on 1 January 2012. The most significant change is that the CC may, on the grounds of constitutional complaint, examine the conformity of judicial decisions with the Fundamental Law as well as with the law applied to each case. From January it also falls under the competence of the CC to determine upon judicial initiative the constitutionality of the law applicable to each case.

The new Fundamental Law retains the possibility of posterior norm control to the government, to one-quarter of the Members of Parliament and to the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, i.e. the possibility open to everybody to turn to the Constitutional Court without legal interest is terminated.

The function of the judiciary system is to serve justice, the main forms of which are criminal justice, civil justice and controlling the legality of administrative decisions.

According to the system set up in 1997, the central administration of courts to the National Judicial Council, the President of which also served as President of the Supreme Court, the highest forum in the court system. One of the main problems was that due to the nature of the system answers were not given in due time to the issues requiring immediate decision. Moreover, the President of the Council had not only administrative powers, but technical executive powers as President of the Supreme Court.

It is the fundamental expectation of citizens that the courts in the different parts of the country make their decisions within reasonable time on the basis of uniform case-law. One of the conditions for having reliable and timely justice is central administration, which is efficient, operational and quick to react to social and economic changes and which also provides full judicial independence free of restraints.

As of 1 January 2012, the central administration and organisational structure of the courts were transformed along these principles under the judicial reform. In the new system the President of a body independent from legislative and executive powers, i.e. the National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ) fulfils the duty of central administration; the President is selected from one of the judges having sufficient judicial experience. The chief administrative and chief technical executive posts are separated: now a different person is the President of the NOJ and the President of the Curia. The President of NOJ performs his/her functions under strict control, supervised by the National Council of Justice (NCJ) consisting only of judges.

The President of the National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ) will undertake the administrative powers of the terminated National Judicial Council (NJC) and its President. The President of NOJ is elected for a period of 9 years from among the judges in service for at least 5 years by two-thirds majority of the Parliament upon the appointment of the President of Hungary.

The President of the National Office for the Judiciary (NOJ) will undertake the administrative powers of the terminated National Judicial Council (NJC) and its President. The President of NOJ is elected for a period of 9 years from among the judges in service for at least 5 years by two-thirds majority of the Parliament upon the appointment of the President of Hungary.

The National Office for the Judiciary is headed by a President, who performs the central administration of courts, undertakes the competences relating to their budget, and supervises the administration activities of the presidents of regional courts of appeal and general courts. The President appoints the chief court staff and makes proposals to appoint judges; also, in case a court is under heavy workload, the President may, at the court’s request or at the proposal of the Prosecutor General, designate another court to ensure that the cases are assessed within reasonable time.

The judicial organisation continues to operate at four levels, and the Curia is the highest judicial forum pursuant to the Fundamental Law of Hungary; under the Curia there are the regional courts of appeal; under the regional courts there are the general courts (instead of county and municipal courts), and from 1 January 2013 the district courts were set up. The administrative and labour courts may also function as separate courts from 2013 (they replace labour courts). These courts are competent to hear as first instance courts only, and the appeals lodged against their decisions are assessed by the general courts.

Public administration, local governments

The system of public administration is fairly decentralised. The elected bodies of local municipalities of villages and towns enjoy considerable political and financial independence. The country is divided into 19 counties, 7 statistical regions and Budapest, the capital. County level governments are also elected locally and directly but they have extremely restricted powers and budget.

As regards public administration, an important development in recent years has been the establishment of micro-regional associations. They provide an opportunity for settlements to establish regional co-operation on voluntary and multi-purposive basis. The micro-regional associations provide opportunity for a customised application of the instruments of the national regional development policy to solve social and economic problems specific to the micro region.

The general rights of local governments, stipulated in the Constitution, are detailed in the Local Government Act. The responsibility of local government lies in the administration and development of the settlement that belongs to its competence, preservation of the constructed and the natural environment, housing, providing local transport, public cleansing and fire protection.

The government has made significant changes to regulations on municipalities, including modification of the function of local governments, establishment of district level (LAU 1) government offices. The following duties will be retained by municipalities (among others): pre-school education, basic health care, settlement development; however, various public administration duties will be handed over to the Government Offices and certain disaster management functions will be performed by the state.

Education administration

The main characteristic of Hungarian school education administration is its decentralisation. The administrative and decision making powers are shared at various levels. In addition to shared administration, the system of education administration of school education is characterised by integration into the general system of public administration as well as wide-ranging local and institutional independence.

Horizontally, administrative responsibilities are shared within ministries; mainly between two ministries directly responsible for education and training (namely the Ministry of Human Resources and the Ministry of National Economy) and other ministries. Vertically, administrative control is shared at central (national), regional (regions, counties) local (settlements) and institutional levels. Sectoral administration at national level is mainly implemented through a comprehensive general framework of regulations. Regional administrative levels have weak competences compared to both the central and the local levels. Administrative tasks have also emerged at micro-regional level recently.

In terms of school education, the authority of the Ministry of Human Resources is restricted to general administrative and regulatory responsibilities. These are the following: setting the criteria and conditions for compulsory education and providing a framework of operation for public education institutions and the examinations at the end of upper secondary education. The local and county governments administer pre-primary, primary and secondary education. The institutions (schools and kindergartens) enjoy a fair degree of decision-making autonomy not only in terms of organisation and functioning but also with regard to their budgets. The sectoral administration of vocational education and training as well as adult training is undertaken by the Ministry for National Economy in accordance with the relevant legal regulations.

Educational institutions also have wide-ranging administrational competences. However, there are also well-defined limits to school autonomy and the responsibility of heads of institutions (such as the regulation regarding the employment of teachers).

Due to the system of shared responsibilities, there are broad opportunities for the civil sector and the private sector to participate. Churches, foundations and the private sector may found and operate schools and kindergartens. The NGO sector generally participates in the form of social partnership and the reconciliation of interests (e.g. the participation of parents and the local community in school management). The strong majority of pupils attend state schools, which are operated and organised by public authorities. Privately run institutions also receive more than 50% of their funding from the state budget.

The Parliament adopted the new Public Education Act, pursuant to which the state fulfils the task of providing school education from 1 January 2013.

The new National Higher Education Act was adopted and the concept of higher education development policy was also drawn up, which serves as a basis for mid-term strategy along with institutional development plans.