The government isn’t getting any smaller

March 6, 2017

So much for the Orbán government’s desire to reduce bureaucracy. The numbers paint a very different picture. If one takes into consideration government ministers, government commissioners, undersecretaries and deputy undersecretaries, the size of the government is twice as large as the Bajnai government was in 2010.

This year alone the Orbán government has appointed 18 government commissioners, one new undersecretary and eight deputy undersecretaries (after letting go of four), reports

In an official government notice released last Friday, it was announced that Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó appointed two new commissioners. Krisztina Dóra Varju will be responsible for running Hungary’s presidency of the Visegrád 4, while István Joó will be responsible for “water diplomacy, water industry exports, and the Danube region strategy.”

Last month, three new commissioners were appointed by the Ministry of Justice, two by the Ministry of Defense and one by the Ministry of Human Resources. In January, the Ministry of National Economy and Ministry of Human Resources appointed three new commissioners each, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of National Development each appointed two new commissioners.

According to statistics on the government’s website, the Orbán government employs some 66 government commissioners, 27 of whom work directly under the Prime Minister’s Office, 14 at the Ministry of Human Resources and 7 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In 2010, the year he returned to power, Orbán promised to decrease the size of the government. While it is true that there are fewer ministers than during the previous Socialist governments, there are more than twice as many undersecretaries and deputy undersecretaries than before 2010.

Following the prime minister’s appointment of Róbert Homolya in February, the total number of undersecretaries is now 56. The total number of deputy undersecretaries working in the Orbán government is 108.

20 deputy undersecretaries are with the Ministry of Human Resources. The Prime Minister’s Office employs 9 undersecretaries and 19 deputy undersecretaries. Coming in third place is the Ministry of National Economy with 17 deputy undersecretaries.

According to Hungary’s Fundamental Law, only the prime minister and government ministers represent members of the government. Together with Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, there are 12 members of the government, compared to 16 during the Bajnai government pre-2010.

However, when calculating with the numbers of undersecretaries and deputy undersecretaries, found that the Orbán government (with 176 members) is more than twice as large as the Bajnai government’s 85 members. Furthermore, the number of people employed by the state has increased overall during the third Orbán government (2014-).