On Friday Parliament passed the law on the list of ministries. Pursuant to the new legislation, there will be ten ministries in the fourth Orbán Government.

The bill submitted by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his government-party fellow parliamentarians – Zsolt Semjén, Antal Rogán, Gergely Gulyás and Máté Kocsis – was passed by Parliament, in departure from standard House Rules, with 127 votes for and 35 against.

Based on the law, the ten ministries of the prospective cabinet will be as follows: Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Human Capacities, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Prime Minister’s Office and Ministry of Finance.

There were ten ministries also during the previous term of government, but in some instances they operated under different names and with different responsibilities.

The Prime Minister’s detailed responsibilities and powers will be laid down in a government decree in the future.

The law also stipulates that the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister will function as the Prime Minister’s political working organisation, while the Government Office of the Prime Minister – an agency which will be newly formed – will operate as a unit responsible for administrative issues within the government.

The Government Office led by a state secretary for public administration will qualify as a central state administration agency with special powers which will have a budgetary chapter of its own and will be supervised directly by the Prime Minister.

Regarding the structure of the government, the general reasoning of the bill points out that the activities of the government are overseen and directed by the Prime Minister. As part of this, specific ministerial responsibility for the coordination of government activities has been done away with, and the responsibilities falling into this category will be divided among the agencies of a governmental centre to be set up on the basis of the model adopted in the English-speaking countries. The Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, the Prime Minister’s Office and the Government Office of the Prime Minister will form part of the governmental centre.

The presenters of the bill also stressed that there is a need for an efficient government that is able to respond swiftly as changes are taking place in the world within just minutes which “may concern the lives of all of us”. There are challenges of this nature in the field of security and in business as well, they continued, and therefore national security issues and innovation play a key role in the governmental structure. Governmental responsibility for the management of state assets and for developments will be divided, and a Ministry of Innovation and Technology will come into being. At the same time, financial stability and reliability are of the utmost importance in the economy, the authors wrote. The Ministry of Finance responsible for monetary policy and the planning of the budget will represent this set of criteria within the governmental structure.

The law also stipulates that the detailed responsibilities and powers of ministers without portfolio – of whom there will be several in the new government – will be laid down in government decrees, and their activities will be assisted either by the competent ministry or the Government Office of the Prime Minister.

(MTI)