TI Releases Hungary Lobby Report
Budapest, October 28 (MTI) – Lobby activities in Hungary are uncontrolled and non-transparent, Transparency International Magyarorszag said in a study released on Tuesday.
Hungary has developed “unorthodox forums” of promoting business interests, researcher Attila Bartha said, and mentioned the system of strategic cooperation agreements between the government and key companies as an example.
According to the study, the government’s strategic partners account for nearly 35 percent of Hungary’s exports, and employ over 8 percent of the people working in the private sector. Most partners are active in car making, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, Bartha said.
Strategic partnerships are aimed at reducing political uncertainty in the business environment, the study said. Bartha argued that while the government sought to win over the “good” multinationals through its partnership scheme, partners were groping for a way out of an uncertain business situation.
Partnership deals could be instrumental in gradually normalising the dialogue between the government and the business community, the researcher added.
Bartha is a fellow at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and at Budapest’s Central European University.
Jozsef Peter Martin, TI Hungary’s managing director, said that Hungary’s growth and improved competitiveness were conditional on making the country’s institutions, including lobby activities, more transparent, as well as through restoring the division of power. Uncertainties in the business environment are primarily rooted in the non-transparent institutions and Hungary’s democratic deficit, he insisted.
TI Hungary legal expert Miklos Ligeti said that the circle of people subject to asset declaration is too small, access to public data is restricted and the transparency of party financing is limited.
The study was based on interviews with corporate and government officials and trade leaders, as part of a research in 19 European countries supported by the European Commission.