Parliament passed a cardinal law on the country’s new, integrated ombudsman system on Monday night at its last session before the summer recess.
The law, in line with the new constitution, creates the post of a single ombudsman for fundamental rights. The ombudsman will work with two deputies for the protection of interests of national minorities and future generations, respectively.
The three officials will be elected, under Hungary’s new constitution, by a two-thirds parliamentary majority for six years, from 2012.
The new ombudsman will have new powers to initiate proceedings over alleged violations of the basic rights of large groups of citizens, not only by state-run institutions, but by banks, businesses or social organisations.
The new structure replaces the current system of four ombudsmen for general affairs, minorities, data protection and future generations.
The data protection ombudsman’s functions will be taken over by a new data protection authority, the National Data Protection and Freedom of Information Authority.