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In 2010 Hungary began the process of drafting a new constitution. Hungary was the only Eastern Bloc country that did not adopt a new constitution after 1989. One of the main criticisms of the peaceful system change in Hungary was that it was elite-led and ridden with too many compromises. Hungary’s current constitution is one that is widely considered a patchwork of amendments and lacks popular legitimacy and attachment. As Hungary drafts a new constitution, it is all the more important to have a good understanding of the fundamental principles that underpin a Constitution of Liberty.

The resources listed below attempt to provide a better understanding of Hungary’s constitutional history and political traditions as well as the fundamental principles of constitutionalism: 

Projected timeline of constitutional process

September 7, 2010: Working groups are created within the ad hoc Parliamentary Committee responsible for drafting the Constitution. Working groups review and deliberate on the proposals submitted to the Committee. Working groups start drafting concept papers for their respective topic.

September 30, 2010: Governmental bodies, NGOs, the academic community submit their suggestions and proposals for the concept and framework of the new Constitution.

October 20, 2010: Working groups prepare framework proposals relevant to their respective topic.

November 2-15, 2010: The Committee debates the prepared concept papers.

November 30, 2010: The Summarizing Working Group prepares the general concept of the new Constitution.

December 10-15, 2010: The Parliamentary Draft Committee debates the main principles to be represented within the new Constitution and decides on the final concept paper to be introduced in Parliament.

January – March, 2011: Drafting of constitutional text.

March 22 – April 18, 2011: Scheduled Parliamentary debate on proposed Constitution Draft.

April 18, 2011: Scheduled adoption of new constitution.

April 25, 2011: President of the Republic signs the Constitution into law.

January 1, 2012: Constitution goes into effect.

Important Documents / Recommended Research

Political and Legal Background in Hungary and Region:

General Constitutionalism:

American Constitutional Tradition:

Past CSS “Constitution of Liberty” Events:

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