The government is striving to restore consultation to the Hungarians legislative process, Tibor Navracsics, the regional development minister, said on Monday, after signing a strategic cooperation agreement with 13 higher education institutions on strengthening scientific cooperation on regional development. “Institutionalised consultation” provides the government with information and “sophisticated opinions” while giving universities insight into government planning, guidelines and approach, he said. Hopefully, the cooperation will blossom into a long-term dialogue in which “we can shape Hungary’s strategic paths together”, he said.
In the first round, the ministry invited institutions which have uncergone government-mandated reforms in recent years “or have a special status”, Navracsics said. The universities’ location and educational profile were also key criteria, he said. “We have to grasp every source of information and consider all opinions that enable us to form a better-informed vision of the future of Hungary, its regions, localities and communities,” Navracsics said, adding that he hoped the agreement would shape a “stronger, more flexible and more competitive regional development policy”. The signatory universities are the Budapest Corvinus University, Debrecen University, Etudus University, the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the University of Miskolc, the National University of Public Service, Neumann János University, the University of Nyíregyháza, Óbuda University, Pannon University, the University of Pécs, the University of Szeged and the University of Tokaj.