The Hungarian Constitution

Vera Treit

The Hungarian Constitution of 2011 was accepted on the 18th of April and it will be enforced from January 1st, 2012. As I am reading it, I get a strong feeling that among its main objectives is to emphasize a sense of national solidarity on the pattern of Christianity.

It is the first Constitution in the world, according to Jozsef Szajer, member of the European Parliament, that has been written on an iPad. This politician was proud to state on his blog that it was his iPad that the Constitution was composed on.

However, this fact will only make a few people happy (Steve Jobs, of course, is most definitely among these people.) According to Ipsos, FIDESZ’s popularity has decreased by four percent in the last months. There are many factors that account for this, but let us look at one that will affect Hungary the most.

In the “Basic constitution,” we find the following: for starters, The Hungarian Republic will be renamed  “Hungary.” Yes, just like that, Hungary, although in the next article, it will state that Hungary is still a democratic republic. The Constitution also states that Christianity is the power that holds the nation together, thus showing the influence of the KDNP, the Christian Democrats. It declares that the power is derived from the People and that the branches of power are separated. It is the duty of the nation to step up and act in case of seizure of absolute power. The Constitution also encourages a strong connection with those Hungarians living outside the borders and promises to advocate for a unified Europe.

The capital is Budapest, and the country will be divided into counties (opposed to the draft of the Constitution, which said that the country was to be divided into “castle counties,” which were used as civil parishes in Hungary a thousand years ago). Marriage is to be made only between a man and a woman and commitment to having children is highly supported by the state. As a result of this, fetuses are protected from the moment they are conceived (If the law really bans abortion, what will happen to youngsters who made a mistake? Is it okay to make a mistake? Is it better to have a baby who will probably be put into state custody?)

According to the Constitution, Hungary protects and encourages healthy surroundings (anti-smoking law which bans smoking in bus and tram stops, and smoking bans are to expected in pubs and restaurants, too). Hungarian sign language is also a part of the Hungarian culture and is under its protection. Conserving peace and cooperating with countries throughout the world is also a part of the Constitution.

The foundations of the new Constitution are puzzling: there are agreeable articles, like the encouragement of healthy surroundings, the promise that from now on, starting a family will not be so hard as it was in the past. I strongly urge everybody to read it, because although there are elements which are hardly acceptable, many of the articles (if respected and kept) point towards a positive future. There are articles, however, which give great power to the Parliament, and articles that show us religious bias.

It becomes unimportant that it is the first Constitution written on an iPad, because many people’s lives depend on whether it will be a strong, positive Constitution, looking only for the best interest of the people, or a Constitution that is full of empty words and phrases designed to strengthen authority.

If you are Hungarian and wish to read it, go to:

For the others: the translation is unfortunately not yet final, but when it is, you will most definitely find it here:

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