Before the elections, Viktor Orban said apropos of the Fidesz-KDNP’s election platform: “to be continued”. From this it could follow, that not even the speed of legislation will get slowed down. The government has presented its program for law-making for the fall 2014. The Policy Agenda has examined what wecan expect in this respect in the ‘parliamentary law-factory’.
When the revolution by ballot was still rumbling
Altogether 313 bills were involved in the government’s platforms during the previous government term. On the average, this means approx. 39 passed acts per session. Needless to say, that as demonstrated in our previous analyses the government often tended to took on too much in certain fields and not keeping itself to the legislation program it failed to realise some tasks. No doubt that the cabinet often randomly picked some acts to deal with rather abruptly.
Apart from the international treaties, 415 acts were presented by the cabinet and passed in the previous government term, i.e. approx. 52 acts per session.
Has the mechanism halted or just secrets are being unrevealed?
In accordance with the legislation program, having been presented recently,the government contemplates to have 17(!) bills passed by the parliament in autumn. From among these 4 are intended for the purpose of the harmonisation of laws, and also 4 of the bills are related to the budget approval, i.e. they are “compulsory” elements of the autumn session.
Looking back on the four years behind, in two sessionsthe government scheduled even less bills to pass.In spring 2011, due to the fact that Hungary took the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the government deliberately exempted the parliament from the legislative work. Additionally, it was this spring that only 2 bills were scheduled to be passed in the spring session, for prior to the elections the government sessions were convened only on very few occasions.
It is surprising that so few legislative initiations are scheduled since four departments –nearly half of the ministries –were not assigned with any such tasks at all. Even some mega-ministries are among them such as the Prime Minister’s Office, headed by JánosLázár, or the Ministry of Human Resources.
Is the law factory shut down?
These few legislative tasks might as well suggest that following the revolution by ballot a period of consolidation comes at least in the field of legislation. However, in a view to the period lapsed since the forming of the parliament it is not worth counting on that.
It might easily happen thatbefore the local governmental elections, the government does not intend, at the level of a work schedule either, to reveal what it is about to do. Right now, the cabinet has already indicated in its legislation schedule that the program is expected to be reviewed in September and it might be supplemented.
A conduct like that would be unusual even in the case of a freshly forming cabinet for this would visualise a situation, suggesting they were not yet prepared for the governmental functions, and they had no clearly established ideas. However, from the part of the government wielding the power, this suggests that they do not want to provide any reason for attacks before the campaign preceding the local governmental electionsis commenced. In any case, it is detrimental to a predictable legislation that the government’s work is not yet transparent either.