Ministry of Defence
The Ministry of Defence is led by the Minister of Defence, who is also head of the Military National Security Services and the Hungarian Defence Forces. The Ministry of Defence has a dual purpose. On the one hand, it is a public administration body for national defence, overseeing the formation of objectives for Hungary’s national defence, defence policy and defence economy: specifically national defence planning and organisation, and the preparation of decisions related to defence matters and the performance of military diplomacy tasks. On the other hand, as part of the Hungarian National Defence Forces, the Ministry is responsible for the direction of the National Defence Forces, for military leadership and for the planning of defence. The Ministry of Defence oversees compliance with international commitments arising from Hungary’s 1999 accession to NATO, and is taking part in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
The Ministry of Defence is the central organ of state administration of the Republic of Hungary implementing dual root purpose and as a superior military authority is responsible for the control and military command of the Hungarian Defence Forces, besides its administrative duties in the branch of national defence. It is responsible for performing public administration duties connected to the country's preparation for national defence, furthermore for performing duties connected to planning, organising and the fulfilment of national defence, preparing the national defence-related decisions of the National Assembly, the President of the Republic, the Government, the accomplishment of military diplomatic and other international tasks, managing, conducting and supervising organisations (institutions) of the Hungarian Defence Forces and those directly subordinated to the Minister of Defence according to the legal statutes, except for military services of national security. As the superior organ of command and control of the Hungarian Defence Forces it is responsible for planning and organising the country's preparation for defence, as well as ensuring the continuous command of the Hungarian Defence Forces's military organisations.
The Minister of Defence is a departmental Minister of the Government of the Republic of Hungary responsible for accomplishing the country's defence tasks, as well as for commanding and leading the Hungarian Defence Forces. He is responsible for performing duties related to preparing governmental draft decisions and central administrative tasks concerning national defence, furthermore for making decisions on the proper, professional and lawful operation of the Hungarian Defence Forces and controlling the execution of these decisions.He exercises all the rights regarding control of defensive activities and superior command and control of the Hungarian Defence Forces that are not lawfully referred to the scope of authority of any other body or person.
He commands and controls the activity of the Hungarian Defence Forces and takes care of the all-inclusive support of its operation. Through the Head of the Cabinet Office he ensures the proper direction of the Ministry of Defence and with his collaboration he manages the work of state secretaries. The Minister, through Senior State Secretary, State Secretaries and the Head of the Cabinet Office, ensures the professional control of the Hungarian Defence Forces and through the Chief of Defence Staff commands the military organisations of the Hungarian Defence Forces. He directly governs the military services of national security. The Minister of Defence exercises authority over the State Medical Center (ÁEK), which includes the Military (Honvéd), Police and Railway Company Medical Centers as well.
According to the decision of the Government he determines the commanding levels and the order of professional control and command of the Hungarian Defence Forces. He exercises his powers of command and control in collaboration with the Senior State Secretary, State Secretaries, the Head of the Cabinet Office of the Ministry of Defence and the Chief of Defence Staff, according to the relevant regulations determined in the pertinent provisions of law, government decisions, other legal means of state guidance and in the Operational and Organizational Code of the Ministry of Defence.
The Chief of Defence Staff is directly subordinated to the Minister of Defence. He performs command of the Defence Staff and the military organisations of the military structure of the Hungarian Defence Forces. He is the service superior (administrative senior) to the entire personnel of the organisations under his command, and exercises the employer's rights over the subordinate military and civil servant personnel. He is responsible for the combat readiness, training, preparation and superior discipline of the organisations subordinated to him, as well as for commanding them according to statutes, other legal means of state guidance and internal regulations.
- Office of the State Secretary directs the Ministry’s organisation, and ensures its coordinated operation. It prepares the Ministry’s organisational and operational regulations, makes proposals on the Ministry’s work schedule and continuously monitors implementation of the work schedule.
- State Secretariat for Parliamentary Affairs carries out specific tasks defined by the Minister, and takes part in developing and representing the Ministry’s standpoint. The Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs directs the mechanisms for reaching cross-party agreement, and gives opinions on plans developed in the course of the Ministry’s preparation of legislation.
- General Defence Staff is the Ministry of Defence’s high-level organisation for planning and concept development. This organisational unit coordinates the tasks of the armed forces of the Republic of Hungary, develops recommendations for the planning, organisation and supervision of the Ministry’s military duties, and for the development of combat capability.
- Deputy State Secretariat for Defence Economyand the units under its direction carry out the Ministry’s economic, financial, logistical and infrastructure tasks, and tasks related to the asset management of equipment, moveable assets, property and company assets under the Ministry’s supervision.
- Deputy State Secretariat for Defence Policy and Planning is tasked with the development and analysis of defence policy at ministry level, and within this coordinating the formation of a ministry-level standpoint on NATO defence policy and joint EU foreign, security and defence policy.
- Deputy State Secretariat for Legal and Administrative Affairs prepares legislation and amendments to legislation, and develops guidelines. It directs the ministerial legal supervision of the operation of the Hungarian defence forces, and its planning, organisation and implementation.
Hungary has made commitments to join the shared military capability development projects of EU member states in several “pooling and sharing” areas such as the Helicopter Training Program (HTP), field hospitals, flying training for aircraft pilots and European transport hubs.
On 08 November 2011, the Hungarian Parliament opened a general debate on the proposed amendment to the Act on establishing a new organization for the military national security services. In his keynote speech Defence Minister Dr. Csaba Hende said “During the last 20 years, time after time the opportunity emerged to integrate the two military secret services, the Military Security Office and the Military Intelligence Office. Now we have the will and opportunity to implement the integration.” To help the preparation of the proposed amendment to the Act, which is based on a concept developed by subject matter experts, the Ministry of Defence held preliminary consultations with the relevant committees of the Parliament and there was a five-party discussion on the topic as well. In his keynote address the Minister said that “A new and integrated organization can better serve the goals of a unified military command and coordination of intelligence and counter-intelligence work. It can better serve the goals of gathering information in the fields of military policy, military technology and the armed forces, as is required by the planning and organizing activities of the Ministry of Defence and the MoD Defence Staff, and the simultaneous execution of the core tasks in the field of military counter-intelligence. The new organization will eliminate unnecessary duplications and boost the flow of information. The two organizations – which have so far been operating separately –, will complement each others’ expertise, which increases the quality of knowledge management for the personnel. This will enable us to provide more effective and reliable support to the HDF contingents deployed in the areas of operations, and this in turn is going to increase the force protection level of the Hungarian troops on missions abroad."
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