Establishment and functioning of democratic political and civilian control of the Hungarian Armed Forces from 1990

The regime change in 1989-1990 in Hungary necessitated serious changes in the control of the Hungarian armed forces, including the establishment of effective democratic and civilian control over the military. In a democracy only the elected institutions of the state can control the military. However, this basic requirement can be carried out by different concrete means.

 

In Hungary, like in all other former Warsaw Treaty member states, the establishment of democratic and civilian control has been a long and difficult process. We can add: this is a „never-ending story”: like all elements of democracy it has, too, constantly developed further and adopted to the changing realities.

 

This project aimed at describing, introducing and analyzing this process, including at the end, drawing the necessary conclusions and formulating proposals that are valid today. We started with the thorough analysis of the relevant documents and legal texts, but did not stop there. The real novelty of our approach has been that we have interviewed most of the available personalities, civilian and military, Hungarian and foreign, who played – and/or – play a significant role in this process, including former – and current – ministers of defense, commanders/chief of general staff as well as independent experts.