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Summaries of EU Legislation

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Summaries of EU legislation: direct access to the main summaries page.

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Commission Opinion [COM(97) 2001 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(98) 700 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(1999) 505 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2000) 705 final - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2001) 700 final - SEC(2001) 1748 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2002) 700 final - SEC(2002) 1404 - Not published in the Official Journal]Commission Report [COM(2003) 675 final - SEC(2003) 1205 - Not published in the Official Journal]Treaty of Accession to the European Union [Official Journal L 236 of 23.09.2003]


In its July 1997 Opinion, the Commission considered that Hungary had made significant progress in adopting the Community transport acquis. Provided that it improved the operation of its domestic road haulage market (access to the market, social rules and safety), made progress with technical checks on private vehicles and clarified financial procedures and access rights in the rail sector, transport was unlikely to pose any major problems as regards adoption of the internal market acquis. However, the Commission stated that it would be necessary to make sure that the resources needed to lay the foundations for the future trans-European transport network extended to include the new member countries, were actually made available. It also felt it would be advisable for Hungary's administrative structures, including bodies supervising areas such as safety, to be rapidly reinforced.

The November 1998 Report noted that Hungary was continuing its efforts to align its legislation on the acquis and to adapt its institutions to Community requirements but more work had to be done to harmonise the rules on technical requirements for road vehicles, improvement of road safety, access to the national road haulage market and development of infrastructure in inland waterways. Extra efforts were also needed to harmonise legislation on civil aviation (particularly safety), rail (rights of access to the rail network) and combined transport.

The October 1999 Report emphasized that Hungary was continuing to bring its laws into line with the acquis and to adapt its institutions, although there was still some way to go. Restructuring of the national airline and the main railway company was a priority.

The November 2000 Report noted that Hungary had continued to align with the transport acquis, although progress was limited.

The November 2001 Report emphasised that Hungary had continued to transpose legislation to align with the transport acquis, but had made little progress in the rail, air and road sectors. No real progress had been made with regard to administrative structures.

The October 2002 Report noted that Hungary had continued to align its legislation with the acquis and made further progress in this area, particularly in the fields of road and railway transport, as well as strengthening administrative capacity in the road and aviation sectors.

The 2003 Report noted that Hungary was essentially meeting the membership requirements in the areas of trans-European transport networks, road transport, air transport, inland waterways and maritime transport. However, it needed to step up its administrative capacities for trans-European transport network project management.


Community transport policy consists of initiatives in three fundamental areas.

The Europe Agreement provides for harmonisation of Hungarian legislation with Community rules, cooperation aimed at restructuring and modernising transport, improvement of access to the transport market, facilitation of transit and bringing operating standards up to levels comparable with those in the Community. The White Paper focuses on what needs to be done to create a single transport market, including measures on competition and legislative harmonisation.


Hungary has adopted the report on Transport Infrastructure Needs Assessment (TINA) of October 1999, which is to serve as a basis for extending the Trans-European Networks to Hungary. The motorway construction programme, which has not progressed for two years, is going to be re-launched, with the support of the ISPA programme. Hungary and Slovakia have continued to prepare for the reconstruction of a bridge over the Danube.

In road transport, some progress has been achieved through alignment with the provisions on the use of vehicles hired without drivers for the carriage of goods by road. In April 2000 Hungary acceded to the European agreement on the Work of crews of Vehicles Engaged in International Road Transport (AETR Agreement). A bilateral Road Transit Agreement was signed with the Union in July 2000. Public bus companies began to align the system of driving and rest periods and increased the number of bus drivers to align with the social requirements of the acquis. The law on vehicle taxes introduced reductions for utility vehicles ("green lorries") with reduced environment pollution.

The main regulatory achievement in 2001 was the alignment of the rules for admission to the occupation of road haulage operator. The alignment of safety belt legislation has been completed. A further positive development was the signing of the INTERBUS Agreement concerning international passenger transport, which was ratified in 2002. Hungary has completed alignment with the acquis in relation to the issuing of licences to transport operators and admission to the occupation. However, it still needs to align its legislation on the transport of dangerous goods.

Alignment with the fiscal and technical acquis was completed in 2003. Hungary has been granted a transitional period ending on 31 December 2008 to implement in full the acquis on maximum authorised weights and dimensions of vehicles in international traffic. Some improvement is still required as regards technical roadside inspections and checks of passenger transport operations.

As regards trans-European Transport Networks, infrastructure construction work was speeded up, in particular with regard to motorways.

The Hungarian State Railways reform programme was adopted in December 1999. Hungary must create an independent body for allocation of train paths, a separate rail company in charge of commercial exploitation and an independent regulatory body to supervise the allocation of infrastructure capacity and charging of infrastructure fees. The accounting rules applicable to railway companies must also be aligned with the acquis.

The accounting separation of railway infrastructure management from railway operations has been completed in the Hungarian railway company.

Legislation has been adopted on the interoperability of high-speed railway systems and on the functions and powers of the railway authority. Hungary needs to transpose the Directives on interoperability and put in place the requisite administrative capacity for allocation of capacity and for infrastructure charging. It has been granted a transitional period ending on 31 December 2006 to implement full access to the Trans-European Rail Freight Network.

As regards air transport, the government adopted a national strategy on aviation in April 2000 which provided the basis for the restructuring and privatisation of the national air company (MALÉV), the reorganisation of management of air traffic and of Ferihegy airport, the establishment of an independent civil aviation authority and the creation of regional airports. In 2002, MALEV continued to undergo restructuring and is now an independent company with independent management, and its staff has been reduced.

Legislation on the limitation of sound emissions in the vicinity of airports was adopted in December 1999.

The provisions on common rules for the allocation of slots at airports and to a certain extent on rules for the technical investigation of civil aviation accidents were aligned in January 2000. Hungary also actively participates in the Safety Regulation Commission of Eurocontrol. New institutions such as an independent accident investigation authority, an independent slot coordination authority and a body for licensing and safety need to be established.

In 2001, Hungary aligned technical requirements and administrative procedures for civil aviation, a code of conduct for computerised reservation systems, rules on licensing of air personnel and air carrier liability. Another positive point is that Hungary became a full member of the Joint Aviation Authority. However, negotiations on the European Common Aviation Area have not been finalised.

In 2002, the Civil Aviation Safety Organisation was established as an independent body to investigate aircraft accidents and incidents. However, specialised training of staff should continue, and additional staff should be recruited for the Civil Aviation Authority in view of that body's increasing tasks. Hungary has been granted a transitional period ending on 31 December 2004 to implement the acquis on noisy aircraft in full.

In the area of inland navigation and maritime transport, the Act on Water Transport was adopted in May 2000. In January 2000, Hungary joined the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR).

In 2001, implementing legislation on the registration of vessels, licensing of navigation operations, navigation qualifications, inspectors' qualifications and identification cards, technical requirements for vessels, and designation of bodies for the certification of conformity of vessels was adopted on the basis of the framework law on water transport of 2000.

The modernisation of State ports has been continued but the port authorities and the General Transport Inspectorate need to be strengthened. Good progress was made in transposing the port State control acquis in 2002. However, the adoption of implementing legislation still has to be completed, particularly in relation to the "Erika" packages acquis.

Last updated: 16.01.2004