The government has submitted to parliament a draft amendment to the law on theatres that would expand its control over state-funded theatres operated by local councils. The law approved last December created the conditions for the establishment of local council-run theatres, state theatres and theatres with a mixed operating structure. According to the official justification, the bill would serve to eliminate disparities in the operation of locally-run theatres whose annual operating budgets are funded entirely by the state by handing the minister in charge of culture basic employer rights over the head of the theatre.
Under the bill, the minister would have the authority to appoint or dismiss a theatre’s leaders, establish conflicts of interest, launch disciplinary proceedings and impose penalties. According to the justification, the transfer of the rights in question to the minister is consistent with Hungary’s law on local councils, which allows for the heads of local council-run institutions to be appointed without the approval of the local government assembly.