Ákos Kozma: I would like to be the ombudsman of the people

Budapest, Thursday 26 September 2019 (MTI) Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Ákos Kozma – who took office this Thursday – would like to work particularly on solving the problems of people turning to the Ombudsman and protecting the rights of children and vulnerable groups. In his interview given to the Hungarian News Agency he also emphasized that he wishes to preserve the independent and non-political nature of the ombudsman institution.

“I would like to be the ombudsman of the people. I wish to deal with the problems of ordinary people, get to know and understand their problems and difficulties, and help them to solve these problems if possible”, declared the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, elected by the Hungarian National Assembly on 2 July 2019 on the proposal of President of the Republic János Áder.

According to Ákos Kozma, the most important role of the Ombudsman is to provide assistance – by all the available legal instruments at his disposal – to those people who cannot solve their problems within the general legal framework of the public administration, and turn to the Ombudsman as a “last resort”.

As he pointed out, there are hundreds of pending cases in the Office at the moment, but it is important to see that there are hundreds of people and families behind these cases who are all looking to the Ombudsman for help.

“I could not define a more substantial task than making a decision in all these pending cases as soon as possible and trying to bring help to these people and families”, he affirmed.

As the Ombudsman elaborated, he will seek to give more emphasis to the protection of the rights of children and vulnerable groups, using the available legal tools at his disposal.

Ákos Kozma highlighted that he considers it essential that the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights operate in an open and transparent way towards the press, civil society organisations and primarily, the people.

Most importantly, “in the future we should continue to preserve the independent and non-political nature of the ombudsman institution as it was done in the past”, he said.

Ákos Kozma taught constitutional law and European Union law at Pázmány Péter Catholic University between 1995 and 2013, and served as Vice-President of the Independent Police Complaints Board from 2010. His predecessor in the position of Commissioner for Fundamental Rights was László Székely, whose mandate expired on 25 September.

Source: MTI – Hungarian News Agency, 26 September 2019 (Thursday) 10.45