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The act on public construction investments entered into force and a new act to simplify the operation of the State

On 19 July 2023, the Constitutional Court established that certain provisions of the act on public construction investments are unconstitutional, therefore, it could not enter into force as planned on 1 August 2023. The act laid down detailed and comprehensive rules on the public works investment regime, some of which are also set out as cardinal provisions (in Hungarian: “sarkalatos rendelkezés”), the modification of which is only possible by the votes of the two-thirds of the present members of the Parliament. However, the bill allowed for derogations from its own rules in the provisions at issue, even by ministerial decree.

As a result, the bill was amended in line with the decision of the Constitutional Court. A cardinal provision has been added to the act ensuring the necessary flexibility in individual cases and authorizing the Government to grant exemptions from the obligations contained in certain specific provisions of the act or to grant benefits to certain specific actors of public investment. The Hungarian Parliament accepted the amended bill on 25 October 2023 and the act entered into force on 8 November 2023.

At the beginning of November 2023, the substantial part of the provisions of a new act on the provisions relating to further simplification of the operation of the State entered into force which amended several acts such as the Road Traffic Act, the Building Act and the Code of Civil Procedure. The act aims to significantly reduce the administrative burden on citizens and businesses. The administrative burden on businesses will be reduced by narrowing the scope of the various types of regulation, for example in the case of fire safety or accounting regulations. By transposing the emergency regulation on public hearings into law, the possibility is created to hold public hearings without the personal appearance of the persons concerned, by means of electronic communication or by publication on a website. The legislation is not new, as it was and is already being used by public authorities and municipalities during the coronavirus epidemic. The act also affects the public notification (in Hungarian: “hirdetmény”) of a decision taken by a public authority:  the public notification must be performed by means of notice if the customer is in an unknown location, if there are other unavoidable obstacles to notification, if an attempt to notify the customer is already unsuccessful, or if notification is required by law or government decree. For the convenience of customers, instead of publication on notice boards, in most cases, only the publication of decisions on a website will be regulated.