The Guarini Institute for Public Affairs Presents
The New Hungarian Constitution
Monday, February 20th
5:30 pm, Aula Magna Regina
Guarini Campus, Via della Lungara, 233
Speaker: József Szájer, MEP and Chair of the Drafting Committee
József Szájer is a Hungarian lawyer and politician, founding member of Fidesz. He was initally involved in Hungarian constitutional preparations since 1989 until 2004, when he became a member of the European Parliament. Since 2004 he has been the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s centre-right European People’s Party, the largest political group in the EP. Szájer was also a member of the European Convention which drafted the European Constitution (2002-2003).
Szájer is one of the fathers of the new Hungarian Fundamental Law. Upon Prime Minister Orbán’s request, he became a member of the advisory board operating under the PM, assisting the development of the new Constitution. He took a leading role during the recent constitutional process as the Chairman of the Drafting Committee, which referred the draft constitutional text to parliamentary debate on 14th March 2011.
Whilst creating the legislative text of the constitution, PM Orbán decided to set up a National Consultation Body with József Szájer as Head in January 2011 in order to reach a wide social consultation on the new Fundamental Law. As part of the national consultation, a questionnaire was distributed among voters and was filled out by approximately one million people. By filling out the questionnaire, citizens got the chance to express their opinion regarding various questions that touched upon relevant constitutional issues.
The national consultation provided an adequate framework for the voters to express their opinions prior to adopting the constitution and for the legislative power to take the voters’ opinion into account in the constitutional process. After 62 years, for the first time Hungary has a legitimate and democratic written constitution, last among the countries that belonged to the ex-communist enslavement.
Click here for the invitation.
Please show photo ID at the entrance.