DOI: 10.5553/HYIEL/266627012019007001005

Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European LawAccess_open


The Value of the Environment in Hungarian Municipalities

An Overview of the Legal Aspects

Keywords environmental regulation, environmental policy, local self-governments, local actions, environmental sustainability
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László Fodor, 'The Value of the Environment in Hungarian Municipalities', (2019) Hungarian Yearbook of International Law and European Law 85-103

    In the field of environmental policy, the principle of sustainability and local actions are becoming increasingly important (‘think globally – act locally’). In Hungary, the focus is – within the multi-level local government system – on the local governments of the municipalities. This study is part of a research project on the role of municipal local governments in Hungary. During our research, in addition to the research methods of the ‘desktop’, case studies, questionnaires, interviews and focus group interviews were used. This study presents such general conclusions that can be drawn from the partial results. It does not include the presentation of certain areas of local environmental protection (air protection, waste management, protecting the built environment etc.), it rather tries to present the attitude of local governments, their commitment to environmental protection and the circumstances affecting it. It shows that Hungarian local governments do not form a homogeneous group. Primarily due to the differing size of municipalities, local environmental conflicts and the financial resources available for their resolution differ from each other as well. However, certain circumstances – such as the low degree of environmental awareness of the Hungarian population, the decrease in the autonomy of the local governments, the effects of the economic crisis and the changes of central regulations – affect them equally. The environmental protection performance of local governments is generally lower than desired.

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The study is a part of the research project No. K 115530 (Roles and instruments of local governments in the realization of ecological sustainability) and was supported by the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office. The following monograph presents the results of the research project in more detail in Hungarian: László Fodor, A falu füstje. A települési önkormányzatok és a környezet védelme a 21. század eleji Magyarországon, Gondolat, Budapest, 2019.

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