Construction and Transport Minister János Lázár said Hungary’s law on investments financed in at least 50% from budgetary and European Union funding will take effect on August 1.
According to Lázár, state projects worth a combined 5,500 billion forints (EUR 14.4m) were suspended in 2022, while other projects worth 3,300 billion forints were concluded that year, and another 200 projects, worth 1,300 billion forints, were being planned under the auspices of the construction ministry. The law regulates “conditions and mechanisms of public spending … ensuring predictability for participants in construction projects, and aims to be sustainable and cost-efficient with a low environmental impact,” Lázár said. He called the law “patriotic” as it promotes the involvement of Hungarian small and medium-sized enterprises in state projects. He said the goal was to launch projects “using Hungarian materials and Hungarian entrepreneurs”.
The law was based on the principle that state projects should be launched under a central investment programme listing all projects to be implemented by each ministry until 2035, Lázár said. He added that all ministries were to submit a list of development projects they would want to implement in the next ten years. The law will allow for greater competition in public procurement, Lázár said, adding that public tenders would always require at least two bidders and the winning bid would be made public. Public procurement procedures will be conducted through negotiations in which not only the price will be considered but “social and environmental aspects” as well, the minister said. Lázár said a State Investment Coordination Council would be set up as suggested by the national association of Constructors (ÉVOSZ), with representatives of the ministry, the treasury, chambers, national railways MÁV, the competition office, unions, as well as the city of Budapest and the national chief architect. The council will elaborate detailed regulations for each type of investment, he added. Lázár said the government had consulted the European Commission over the new law, and the EC had granted its approval.