Budapest, June 28 (MTI) – Hungarian mayors from all over the world gathered for a two-day meeting at Godollo Chateau, outside Budapest, on Saturday.
The world conference, organised for the tenth time by the Hungarian Federation of Municipalities (MOSZ), was opened by MOSZ head and mayor of Godollo Gyorgy Gemesi.
Constitutional Court president Peter Paczolay, the chief patron of the event, said in his address that strong municipalities and an appropriate level of decentralisation were crucial for democracy. Paczolay said that local issues could be best addressed by municipal governments in cooperation with their voters. “Local power could be a stronghold of a division of authority, which is indispensable for a democratic rule of law,” Paczolay said, adding that municipalities also served as a counterweight to the central government.
Hunor Kelemen, head of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party, said that Hungarians in Transylvania were interested in strong municipalities, but added that it also required enforcement of the principle of subsidiarity and strengthening local autonomies.
State secretary at the interior ministry Tibor Pogacsas said that the government had completed the municipal reform, aimed at changing the tasks and competencies of local governments. He said that though the new system “may have contested components” it has met expectations.
The government is interested in smooth operations of municipalities and the enforcement of self-governance, added Pogacsas and voiced the government’s readiness for dialogue with local authorities.
Photo: MTI – Lajos Soos