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Justice minister: Constitutional amendment about freedom to take responsible action

Hungary's tenth constitutional amendment "is about preparing for extraordinary challenges in extraordinary times and the freedom to take responsible action", Justice Minister Judit Varga told lawmakers on Tuesday.

The amendment proposal, submitted to parliament last week, would expand the government’s mandate to declare a state of emergency in the cases of war or humanitarian catastrophes in neighbouring countries.

Addressing a debate on the draft amendment, Varga said the belief that physical conflicts were a thing of the past had been proven untrue, as war was now part of the history of 21st century Europe.

Not only has the Russia-Ukraine war in Hungary’s neighbourhood created a humanitarian crisis not seen since the second world war, but it has also changed Europe’s economic outlook, Varga said. In order to address these challenges and protect against their harmful effects, Hungary must ensure that it can give quick and effective national responses, the minister said. “This is the purpose of the constitutional amendment.”

Varga said this also meant that “in the spirit of responsible foresight” and in the interest of the security of the current and future generations, Hungary must prepare its legal system to be able to handle hitherto unthinkable situations.

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