The End of a New Hope

By Csaba Kiss (Posted: August 29, 2012)

Brief headline in today’s news: Hungary’s environmental ombudsman quits. Sandor Fulop was one of the founders of EMLA (www.emla.hu) and of The Access Initiative. In 2008, he became Hungary’s first ever environmental ombudsman. The institution was a great success in the last 4 years and gave a new hope that interests of present and future generations can be harmonized with the help of an independent representative of the environment. Then in January 2012, a new Consitution has entered into force in Hungary that significantly downgraded the role and powers of this position (see our past blog:http://www.accessinitiative.org/blog/2012/01/hungary-downgra...). And today was the day when Sandor announced his decision to quit his position because - in his own words - he is no longer able to perform its constitutional duties with the government not enacting the necessary legislation and not providing the necessary practical means. While there is intense talk on the institutional framework of protecting the interests of future generations, and the EU and the Rio 2012 Summit devoted much energy to discuss the role of ombudsmen in this area, and while independent think tanks propose this as a solution to a number of intergenerational conflicts (Future Justice by the World Future Council), we lost again another piece of hope here.