Favorable and uncertaine factors in Central Europe

Csaba Lentner: Uncertainty Factors in National Economy Planning – International Effects and Hungary’s Outlook Up to 2050
As a result of the global economic and social phenomena seen after the 2007 and 2008 crisis, national economy planning built on a basis approach has been gradually waning, especially in market economies that are dependent on external capital. The number of unexpected, mainly external, events that cannot be planned is on the increase and the uncertainty factors affecting the entire national economy are more and more frequent. The perspectives of planning the Hungarian economy, which has achieved significant economic stability between 2010 and 2015 among the post-planned economy regimes considered as an emerging market, have been facing a significant challenge, especially due to the constantly changing and often unpredictable international factors. The author proposes that through enhancing the independence of economic policy and of endogenous factors, and increasing the self-supporting capacity, a sustainable budgetary and social trajectory should be developed.

Olga Gyárfášová: Democratic Rights as Perceived by the Public
Our study confirms that satisfaction with functioning of democracy is influenced by the quality of outputs. The public perceives the quality of democracy especially through its performances and outputs not via a normative model. As for the quality of democracy, the public assesses especially the quality of governance and democracy is expected to provide good governance. It is not enough to have democracy and related political rights such as the possibility of involvement and participation in order the ideas of good governance are fulfilled.

Grigorij Mesežnikov: Slovakia’s path of Transition: Integration Conditionality, Democracy and Reforms
The experience of Slovakia’s democratic transformation was a combination of spectacular successes and regrettable failures, an alternation of progress, regression, stagnation and then steps forward again. In a decisive moment Slovakia that severely lagged behind its neighbors in internal reforms and in European integration process managed to transform itself into the “Central European reform tiger“. Thanks to this it caught up and in some areas even overtook its V-4 neighbors. The 25 years of transformation brought to people in Central Europe freedom, democracy and life conditions better than ever in history of Central European nations. In the context of new challenges with which societies in Central Europe are confronted it is crucially important that political forces adhering the liberal democratic values should provide the candid democratic governance, effective fight against corruption, raising credibility of democratic institutions, and engaging people in public life. These would be the best safeguards for democracy and freedom during the next 25 years.

György Szapáry: The Turn in Hungarian Economic Policy after the Global Crisis
Prior to 2010, almost every area of the Hungarian economy was characterized by imbalances. This held true for the general government, households and the overall economy, which prompted the newly formed government in 2010 to define a new direction for economic policy. The approach to deal with the consequences of the global financial crisis and to promote growth was based on four core principles: expanding solidarity, fostering employment, reducing vulnerability, while also launching certain indispensable structural reforms. The most immediate task was to reduce the external vulnerability of the economy which included, among other things, fiscal consolidation and debt profile restructuring to reduce reliance on external financing. In order to promote growth, a set of measures were taken to revive domestic credit expansion. The fact that the global economic crisis hit Hungary at a time when it was plagued by serious external and internal imbalances restricted its room for maneuver to deal with the crisis, making the recession deeper for Hungary compared to its regional peers. The various measures and structural reforms introduced have enabled Hungary to rely more strongly on domestic resources to foster economic growth, which improves the chances of the country to embark on a sustainable long-term growth, provided nevertheless that the external economic environment on which Hungary heavily depends will not hinder the realization of this goal.

CsabaVarga: On Setting Standards – Or the Right to Judge the Past
Crucial questions emerged in Central Europe after the fall of communism which prompted early answer. These were challenges never met before as ones to be responded adequately in proper assessment of rule of law considerations. The paper is dedicated to one of such issues, the one of coming to terms with the past under the rule of law. Its treatment is partly philosophical, on why settling accounts by setting standards is a moral must to be taken seriously as a preliminary agenda, and partly strictly legal, exposing basic queries that may found a solution. Being a theoretical approach based upon considerations in legal philosophy and experience gathered in legal anthropology, its truth is independent of whether or not, and to what degree, conclusions have been implemented in practice either in Hungary or elsewhere.

Péter Krisztián Zachar: The Role of Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Hungary after the Transition of 1989/1990
In our days, increasing public attention is directed to the activities, operational framework and issues of non-governmental organisations. The role and margin of this sphere, established as a result of self-organisation by civilians, are unclear to many people, and not much can be known about their genesis and the history of their development in Central Europe, either. This is particularly true in the case of various organisations representing and protecting interests (advocacy groups), since the issue of these autonomy forms has not been in the focus of scientific attention so far in the post-soviet countries. Nowadays – because of changes in the acceptance of political decisions – a greater involvement of non-political organisations in opinion-forming and decision-preparing processes is needed in order to preserve, or possibly, increase the credit of a democratic state system. As a result, the Hungarian and European scientific life and public display an increasing interest in various advocacy (interest representing and protecting) organisations. Our present study examines one part of this self-governmental segment, namely chamber autonomies. Based on our experiences, not only do chamber autonomies have great traditions in Europe, but now (through their efficient operation) they also play a decisive role in the EU decision making processes. In the upcoming paragraphs we are going to perform a deeper analysis of the challenges and role of Hungarian chambers of commerce and industry with a focus on their institutional changes, tasks and involvement in the political system of a post-socialist transformation state.

Csaba Cservák: The Constitutional Court after the Regime Change in Central Europe and in Hungary
In Hungary Prior to the regime change there was a general and significant uncertainty. The emerging political powers were just about finding their own position, the elite of the Single-party state was afraid of the consequences of new regime. Thanks to that fact and the spectacular declaration of the rule of law these promoted the coming into being of a Constitutional Court which possessed one of the broadest authorities in the world. Is that the way it is indeed? The question can be raised up, since the constitutional challenge was not implemented by the relevant statutory instrument from its’ benchmark, the German system. The new Foundation Act enacted in 2012 filled in that gap. After all let us have a look what does that difference mean, and what kind of constitutional courts exist in the world. In the light of these we shall be able to locate the meaning of the Hungarian reform.