An update on the situation in Hungary
The Hungarian Parliament is planning to pass a proposal for the reorganization of state funding to the arts. The proposal – that was planed to pass the Parliament without any prior negotiation of the stakeholders - leaked out last week and caused serious upheaval leading to a campaign of the arts scene with international support. As a result the proposal was modified by Monday, some of the most worrying articles were taken out, such as the abolishment of the National Cultural Fund, which was supporting projects in a system of open calls as well as the complete cut of the operational funding of independent performing arts infrastructures and companies. The previous proposal for the transfer of right of the appointment of city theatre directors to the Minister has partly remained, in a modified, leaving this to the individual agreement of the Minister and the mayors.
The proposal submitted to the Parliament on Monday and expected to pass on Wednesday contains somewhat lighter changes, however in certain points its general, sometimes vague wording leaves significant freedom for the implementation regulations to be developed on the basis of the law.
The reasons for the modification of the proposal are unseen. Perhaps the campaign, the wide range of voices raised within the country and abroad has contributed to the halting of the immediate unprepared large scale restructuring for now. We cannot at all consider the situation as safe and resolved. As the regulations, which will provide the framework for the actual implementation are unknown the danger has not averted us. We will keep you informed about the development of the situation and are grateful for your support and solidarity.