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Karácsony Issues Decree on Rules of Budapest Citizens’ Initiative

MTI-Hungary Today 2021.02.25.

Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony has issued a decree detailing the rules of a citizens’ initiative which the capital’s residents can draw up with a view to initiating consultations with the city’s leadership or shaping the agenda of the municipal assembly.

The decree notes that the city assembly approved the rules of the Budapest citizens’ initiative last January and voted to have it enter into force one year later.

A petitioner whose initiative garners the support of 1,000 Budapest residents will be invited to consult with the mayor, a deputy mayor or another municipal leader. An initiative backed by at least 10,000 residents will be brought before the municipal assembly for a debate, which the petitioner will also be invited to address.

Petitioners and co-petitioners must be over the age of 14, according to the decree.

Citizens’ initiatives can be filed and signed in person or online and are assessed and approved by the chief notary.

Karácsony: Local Governance under Threat in Hungary
Karácsony: Local Governance under Threat in Hungary

Local governance and the relationship between the central government and local councils constitutes the “frontline of Hungarian domestic politics” today, Budapest Mayor Gergely Karácsony told an online conference on Thursday. Local governance is important to all democrats, the mayor said, adding, however that it was now under threat in Hungary. “Democracy is being systematically wound […]Continue reading

Petitioners have the right to withdraw their initiative. If an initiative is withdrawn before it is approved by the chief notary, it will not be published. If an initiative is withdrawn after it has been published, it is still open for support but the original petitioner will no longer be attached to it, thus losing the opportunity to address the municipal assembly if the initiative gets enough backers.

The decree enters into force on March 1.

featured image: the Budapest Assembly in September (illustration); via Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI