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Hungary Index
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Constitutional Background

On 18 Apr 2011 Hungary adopted the Fundamental Law of Hungary as the new constitution of the country. It superseded the old constitution adopted in 1949, which based on the Soviet Constitution. Hungary had been the only country of the former Eastern Bloc that had not adopted an entirely new constitution after the fall of communism. The ICL-edition is divided into three parts to fit the original paragraph numbering of the Fundamental Law of Hungary.

History and News

  • 2011: New Constitution adopted.
  • 2004: Act No. CIV amends the Constitution.
  • Aug/Sep 2004: Medgyessy resigned; Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány.
  • May 2004: Hungary became a member of the EU.
  • 2003: Act No. CIX amends the Constitution.
  • 2003: Referendum on accession to the EU (83,76% - Yes)
  • 2002: Negotiations for accession in the EU successfully concluded.
  • Apr 2002: Parliamentary elections, won by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSzP). Coalition government with the Liberal-Democrats (SzDSz), headed by Prime Minister Péter Medgyessy.
  • 2002: Act No. LXI amends the Constitution.
  • 2001: Act No. XLII amends the Constitution.
  • Aug 2000: Ferenc Mádl elected as President by the Parliament, for a five year term.
  • 2000: Act No. XCI amends the Constitution.
  • March 1999: Hungary became full member of NATO.
  • Nov 1998: Accession negotiations with EU begins.
  • May 1998: Parliamentary elections, won by the Hungarian Civic Alliance (FIDESZ-MPP), which forms a coalition with the Independent Smallholders' Party (FKgP) and Hungarian Democratic Forum (MDF) under Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.
  • March 1998: First (screening) phase of EU accession negotiations begins.
  • Dec 1997: Hungary invited to begin accession negotiations with the European Union at the European Council meeting in Luxembourg. Protocol of Accession to NATO signed.
  • 1997: Act No. LIX and Act No. XCVIII amends the Constitution.
  • 19 June 1995: Hungary's President  is re-elected for another five-year term. His office carries nearly not much power.
  • 1995: Act No. XLIV amends the Constitution.
  • Apr 1994: Hungay applies for EU accession.
  • May 1994: Second free elections, won by the Hungarian Socialist Party. Coalition formed with the Alliance of Free Democrats, under Prime Minister Gyula Horn.
  • 1994: Act No. LXI, Act No. LXXIII and Act No. LXXIV amends the Constitution.
  • 1993: Act No. CVII amends the Constitution.
  • Dec 1991: Association Agreement signed with the EC (in force since 1 February 1994).
  • Nov 1990: Hungary joins the Council of Europe.
  • March/Apr 1990: First free elections after 45 years, and the victory of the conservative Hungarian Democratic Forum. Cabinet under Prime Minister József Antall.
  • 1990: Act No. XVI, Act No. XXIX, Act No. XL, Act No. XLIV, Act No. LIV and Act No. LXIII amends the Constitution.
  • 1989: Fundamental amendments to the 1949 Constitution. The Act No. XXXI. transforms, basically, the Stalinist Constitution in a new fundamental law, establishing the rule of law and democracy.
  • Sep 1989: Hungary opens its borders to Germans from the GDR.
  • 1988: The transition period from communism towards democracy began.
  • 1956: Popular uprising, which gradually turned into a revolution, broke out against the communist regime. The revolution was crushed by Soviet troops. In 1958, Imre Nagy was executed.
  • 20 Aug 1949: The Hungarian Constitution [The Act No. XX from 1949], based on the 1936 Soviet fundamental law, is adopted.  The Constitution gives the formal basis of Communist Dictature.

For methodology see: Comparing Constitutions and International Constitutional Law.
© 1994 - March 24th, 2014 / For corrections please contact A. Tschentscher.