Report on the activities of the Equal Treatment Authority in 2005

Act Nr. 125 of 2003 on equal treatment and the promotion of equal opportunities (hereafter: Equal Treatment Act) entered into force on 27 January 2004. The act fulfilled a number of regulatory obligations laid down in EU directives, among others those contained in 2000/43/EC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment of persons regardless of their ethnic or racial affiliation (hereafter: racial directive) and 2000/78/EC on the creation of a general framework for equal treatment in employment and labour (hereafter: employment directive). Article 13 of the racial directive, which obliges member states to create a national organisation carrying our independent investigations in the defence of personal rights, was implemented by Hungary through the establishment of the tasks and the guarantees of the independence of this national authority in the Equal Treatment Act. Accordingly, the Authority cannot be instructed in issues of its competence specified by the Act, it is a budgetary organisation with chapter rights, its budget forms a separate entry within the chapter of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), and is under the direction of the Government and the supervision of the designated minister. The Act also specified the tasks of the Advisory Board, which is made up of members nominated by the Prime Minister, although the detailed regulations governing the activities of the Board are contained not by the Act, but the executive decree. Since at the time of the drafting of the Act there was no consensus regarding the further details of its legal status, the Act authorized the Government to work out the detailed regulations governing the activities of the Authority.