In Hungary the lifestyle and attitude that damages the environment has to be transformed, and the legislation promoting the unsustainable economic practices has to be reformed urgently and radically. The new Hungarian Constitution that will enter into force on the 1st January 2012 has created a solid foundation for this – stated Mr. Sándor Fülöp, the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations. The green ombudsman turned to the public following the signature of the new Constitution by the President of the Republic.
According to Mr. Fülöp the new fundamental law expands and strengthens further the foundations of domestic environmental law, and raises the responsibility towards future generations to the highest level. It regulates the conservation of natural resources with a binding force for the whole state administration and legal system. The new provisions acknowledge the right to a healthy environment, completing it with the absolutely indispensable state obligations to guarantee this right.
The green ombudsman says that the new Constitution guarantees the continuity of the last twenty years’ environmental statutory interpretation: the courts and authorities can rely on the legislation of the Constitutional Court, among others on the non-regression principle in the field of environmental protection in the future too. The fundamental law provides compulsory guidance on several issues that were subject to pondering so far. From the provisions one can – and therefore should – directly deduce the prohibition of field production of genetically modified organisms, the emphasized conservation of surface and underground waters, just as the need of special protection for the domestic wild-living and agricultural genome.
The new fundamental law is progressive also in the provisions that guarantee the conditions of healthy life for the people. Connecting food supply and health, motion and health, moreover environment and health in general on the level of the Constitution strengthens the necessity of system-approach and system-level management.
Furthermore Mr. Fülöp has pointed out that the fundamental law extends the aspects of sustainability and of protecting future generations in an exemplary way to the financial management and foreign policy of Hungary. These provisions were passed still in time to exert a considerable influence on the last months of the Hungarian EU-presidency, respectively on the budget of the year 2012.
At the same time the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations warned that the legislation process is not finished yet. Based on the new constitutional orders it should be provided that the tools and frames of state administration enlarge; the nature conservation, water protection, environmental protection, soil protection, construction and public health authorities’ institutional system need to be reinforced.
25th April 2011