Budapest (MTI) – President Janos Ader on Friday returned the amended laws on the protection of the built environment and on trade to parliament for reconsideration.
Both laws were approved by parliament on December 9.
The amended law on the protection of the built environment regulates the construction of shopping malls, requiring construction of retail spaces larger than 400sqm to be cleared by a special committee.
The law on trade bans from 2018 the sale of fast-moving consumer goods in large shops that fail to make a profit in two consecutive years.
Ader said the amendment goes against the European Union principle banning restrictions on the free movement of citizens of member states to another member state. He noted that the rule applies to the economic activities of businesses, too. EU rules also require equal treatment of companies from an EU member state doing business in another member state, he added.
Ader said the European Court of Justice had taken the stand that the rule of equal treatment prohibits veiled, as well as obvious, forms of discrimination.
Most shopping malls in Hungary are owned by international chains.
Ader also expressed concern that the amendment left open the question of how to calculate the compliance deadline after the legislation comes into force.
Addressing problems with the amendment requiring construction of retail areas larger than 400sqm to undergo the scrutiny of a special committee, Ader noted that companies would have to comply with the rule from January 1, 2015, but the deadline for establishing the committee was not until February 1, 2015.
The amendment does not lay down the criteria the committee must take into account for their assessment either, he added.