The national conservative government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is getting down to serious work on relocating some ministries from the capital to other cities.
Orbán has appointed Minister of Defence Csaba Hende and Minister of Agriculture Sándor Fazekas to investigate the possibility of relocating their ministries, the former to Székesfehérvár and the latter to Debrecen, with a target date of 15 March 2016.
The Minister of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), János Lázár, has been given the task of investigating the relocation of the State Secretariat of Regional Development out of the PMO to Kecskemét, home of Mercedes-Benz’s Hungarian operations. This move would be by the end of this year.
Orbán and the PMO may be moving too, into the former Carmelite Abbey in the Castle District, beside the Sándor Palace, where the president of the republic, currently János Áder, has his office. Again the target is 15 March 2016 and a move by the PMO would be part of a “national program” from 2014 to 2024 aimed at renewal of the Castle District including the Royal Palace.
Lajos Kósa, the mayor of Debrecen, is happy about the planned move of the Ministry of Agriculture to the country’s second-largest city. He said the decentralisation would “be proper for the countryside” because Hungary’s best agricultural land is around Debrecen and the “University of Agriculture” is in the city. Debrecen is the heart of the nation’s farming and a worthy place for the ministry, according to Kósa.
Relocation of the Ministry of Defence to Székesfehérvár found support from Tamás Vargha, a state secretary of the ministry, who said the town has been a “military town” since its foundation and thus “military life” is an old tradition. Already during the Turkish wars Székesfehérvár was an important base in the line of Hungarian defence, Vargha said.
Katalin Csöbör, a Fidesz MP, and László Varga, a Hungarian Socialist Party MP, who were both elected to represent Miskolc at the national election in April, united to say the city, Hungary’s third-biggest, should house a ministry. They said they are willing to do anything to reach this goal.