Hungary: Capabilities, Organisations, Policies, and Legislation in crisis management and disaster response
Source:IT4Sec Reports, Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Number 127, Sofia (2015)
Keywords:disaster preparedness, disaster response, Hungary, Kolontar, structural reform, three-pillar disaster management system
• Hungary is a landlocked country in Central Europe with a territory of slightly over 93 thousand square kilometres. It has boundaries, shared with Austria to the west, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia to the south and southwest, Romania to the southeast, Ukraine to the northeast, and Slovakia to the north. The country is crossed by rivers Danube and Tisza, which are navigable 418 and 444 kilometres, respectively.
• The crisis management system in Hungary has been under significant pressure in the last years, which revealed weakness and vulnerabilities to be addressed through policies and actions. Numerous disasters – from the notorious red sludge spill, via floods, to storms and droughts – made it evident that a profound reform of the Hungarian crisis management and disaster response architecture was needed.
• A new disaster management law was adopted in 2011 (in force since 1 January 2012), laying the foundations of a system in which professional disaster management service cooperates closely with obliged and volunteer civil protection structures. As put by the law, disaster management has been named a national cause.
• The National Directorate General for Disaster Management (NDGDM) within the Ministry of Interior is the national authority for disaster management. As of 1 January 2012 a new organisational structure of the NDGDM was introduced, which has been built on three pillars: civil protection, fire protection and industrial safety, with the National Inspectorate General of Fire Services, the National Inspectorate General of Civil Protection and the National Inspectorate General of Industrial Safety constructing the backbone of the NDGDM.
• The Disaster Management Governmental Coordination Committee (DMGCC) is an inter-agency coordination body ensuring consistency between sectors. At county and local level, protection committees are in place to concert disaster management.
• From an operational perspective, the central structures for disaster management at the county and local level include 20 county directorates for disaster management, their subordinated offices for disaster management, the professional dire departments and the municipal fire departments.