Hungary has adopted new laws covering various areas, prioritizing electronic registration processes and the construction industry, while also making significant advancements in the energy field, according to Nagy es Trocsanyi Partner Orsolya Kovacs.
“Digitalization is a constant point of discussion for Hungarian lawyers, and it goes beyond just concerns about artificial intelligence,” Kovacs says. “In particular, the recent legislative updates related to e-procedures make it one of the prominent topics in Hungarian lawyers’ live.”
According to Kovacs, starting from February 1, 2024, there will be a new property and real estate registry system in Hungary, known as the e-land registry system. “This transition is not merely an electronic system update but a multifaceted procedure,” Kovacs emphasizes. “Lawyers will be required to take an exam to acquire a certificate enabling them to access the electronic system and perform official registrations. Given that this process encompasses legal and technical complexities, it may be particularly demanding for lawyers.”
Another notable legislative development, according to Kovacs, is related to the construction and real estate sectors. “The entire construction industry is affected by the impending implementation of laws, such as the changes in the law on public construction and the new Act on Construction, which is still in the preparatory phase. These changes are scheduled to be implemented this autumn. In addition, there is new legislation on the construction right which is a marketable right based on which the holder has the right to construct a building and use the real property for this purpose, as well as the right to possess, use, and benefit from the building constructed” she says. “Numerous discussions have been made by the concerned sectors regarding these developments.”
“Additionally, recently, our focus has shifted towards energy and renewable energy sources laws,” Kovacs continues. “It applies not only to energy regulations but also incentives, subsidies, and the various company structures involved in operating energy businesses, including both renewables and non-renewables. The prices of energy have become a significant topic of discussion here in Hungary, particularly due to the increase in energy prices during the crisis and following the onset of the war.” According to her, the conclusion of PPAs at high prices has become a major issue for the economy, “as all participants in the economy are burdened with these elevated costs. As a result, production expenses have risen, making it challenging to manage economic stability.”
“In terms of litigation, we are facing a special type of litigation cases in Hungary related to cartel damages,” Kovacs says. “The key concern is how to effectively recover these damages if any. In Hungary, a specific law is known as the ‘presumption of 10%,’ which assumes that the prices are 10% higher than normal prices, making litigation a very complex process," she adds. “Other than that, the economy is facing challenges with slow growth, but specific e-commerce transactions are experiencing a notable increase,” Kovacs concludes.