BUDAPEST – A flurry of lawmaking

In a host of new proposals submitted by the Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén late Tuesday night (31 March), the government proposes to legislate on gender, the Budapest-Belgrade railway, the capital’s development project, theatres and more.

In the wake of Hungary’s new law that allows PM Viktor Orbán to rule by decree as long as the state of emergency is declared, the government has proposed a series of laws, unrelated to the pandemic, for the parliament to decide on.

One provision of the draft omnibus legislation would replace sex with “sex at birth” in birth certificates. This would, in turn, replace sex in all personal identification documents such as IDs and passports, effectively erasing the right to modification for transgender people. 

Moreover, since first names in the birth registry must correspond to the assigned sex, people who change their sex – and names, – will not be able to change their first names in the documents, Index reported.

Another provision would classify developments of Budapest’s Városliget park constructions as ‘overriding public interest,’ which would allow the government to lift the new construction ban imposed by the opposition-controlled city council. 

The Park’s controversial development project was criticised by UNESCO, which threatened to inscribe the site on its ‘World Heritage in Danger’ list if its recommendations were ignored.

Another amendment concerning state-supported theatres as defined in the controversial culture law passed late last year would expand the number of members of theatres’ supervisory board to five, three of them appointed by the government.

This change would affect the majority of theatres in the country, according to local media reports.

A separate draft bill submitted by Semjén will classify documents related to the Budapest-Belgrade railway renovations for 10 years. The development has a projected cost of more than $2 billion, financed by the Hungarian state and Exim Bank of China at a 15%-85% ratio, Index reported. (Vlagyiszlav Makszimov | EURACTIV.com)

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