Hungarian government plans to extend the state of danger once again

April 06. 2023. – 08:38 AM



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According to the government's bill submitted late Tuesday night, the state of danger may be extended for another 180 days, reports. To find out what a state of danger is, and how it differs from a state of emergency according to the Fundamental Law of Hungary, see our previous article detailing the subject.

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The current state of danger was introduced by the government in May 2022, and has been extended several times since then, most recently in November last year. In the bill submitted by Zsolt Semjén, the new extension was justified with the same arguments as before: responding effectively to the war in neighbouring Ukraine, helping refugees and "preventing adverse economic effects".

This means that governing by decree will continue in Hungary. Since March 2020, with a few months' pause, there has been a non-stop succession of various states of danger: after a short break, the one caused by the coronavirus was replaced by the one due to the war, while a "mass immigration crisis" has been in place since 2016, followed by the state of danger due to the energy crisis introduced last summer.

US Ambassador to Budapest David Pressman pointed out last week that the various states of danger and crises have been in place in Hungary for more than 2,547 days, which means that the government can pass laws by decree, bypassing the Hungarian parliament. There have also been instances of the government abusing the rights granted to it by the special legal order: they have used it to declare specific data as classified, and to reform the legal background for firing teachers when, throughout most of 2022, Hungarian teachers went on strike and practiced civil disobedience to demand reforms in the education system.

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