Institutions of environmental protection
Environmental protection is the sector that has received the harshest treatment in recent years. Institutional powers and budgetary allocations have both been curbed. NGOs active in the field of environmental protection have to contend with ever decreasing financial support from the central budget. Moreover, the government has been engaged in a witch-hunt against these organisations.
Overall, less and less resources are allocated for environmental protection in Hungary.
The duties and competences of national parks have been continuously reduced in the past years. They lost much of their official powers which were deployed with the environment and nature protection inspectorates. Their headcount and on-location presence have been reduced. As a culmination of the process, the Minister for Rural Development commissioned the newly appointed Secretary of State in charge of the national land programme to supervise the exploitation of "land areas managed under in the trusteeship of national parks" in 2013. While the majority of the Hungarian conservation profession believes that the ownership and management of the most important protected areas should by default belong with the national parks, the exact opposite of that can be observed in reality. From a professional perspective , this trend is entirely unjustified.
The government places environmental authorities in an increasingly difficult situation by a series of measures withdrawing their funds.
From 2002 onwards, the amount of funding potentially available for environmental NGOs through tenders was continuously reduced. The limit amount available in 2014 reached only HUF 70 million, which was significantly less than the previous 2013 low record of 85 million forints (the 2011 value was HUF 119 million).The funds of the National Cooperation Fund, amounting to 3 billion HUF, are in principle at the disposal of green NGOs as well. However, the decision-making structure thereof is not transparent: the people in charge of allocating the funds are close to the government, and support NGOs and quangos only in the hope of gaining direct political benefit, and they cannot expect such benefits from the environmental NGOs.