The government has been given the power to declare a state of emergency in the case of an armed conflict, war, or humanitarian disaster in a neighbouring country, as parliament adopted the tenth amendment to the constitution on Tuesday. The legislation was passed with 136 votes for and 36 against.
Under the amended constitution, from November 1, a special legal order can be introduced in the case of a state of war, emergency, or danger. A state of danger can be declared if “acts of war actually take place”. An armed conflict includes all armed clashes including a situation of civil war, while a humanitarian disaster could be any situation arising from a war or armed conflict, or from other reasons such as natural disasters causing a seriously difficult situation for masses of people. According to the justification of the bill, a special legal order can only be introduced if developments in a neighbouring country seriously impact Hungary in humanitarian or economic terms or if there is a realistic likelihood that it could happen.
Parliament also adopted changes to the law on disaster management and related legislation. Under the changes, the government could suspend some laws or deviate from their stipulations to ensure the security of residents, their assets, as well as the stability of the national economy in a state of danger declared due to war in a neighbouring country. Under the new legislation, the Constitutional Court, if requested, must review the government’s measures taken in a state of danger.