Workshop in the Ombudsman’s Office on conserving cultural heritage
On October 15, 2018, in the Office of the Commissioner for Fundamental Rights, Ombudsman for future generations Gyula Bándi organized a professional round-table discussion with the participation of the representatives of various regulatory, civil, and professional organizations which play an active role in preserving our cultural heritage for the future generations.
The invited speakers of the workshop included Deputy State Secretary Zsolt Füleky, Head of the Deputy State Secretariat for Architecture and Construction of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Zsuzsanna Újlaki, Head of the Department for Cultural Heritage Protection and Priority Development, also of the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, Gábor V. Szabó, President of the Hungarian Association of Archeologists, and Ottó Fogas, Curator of the Móra Ferenc Museum in Szeged.
In his opening remarks, the Ombudsman spoke about the fundamental-rights framework of conserving and protecting our cultural heritage. In connection with our constitutional duty to conserve our nation’s common cultural heritage, and referring to the relevant decisions of the Constitutional Court, he gave an overview of the conceptual and legal evolution of the protection of natural and cultural assets, its fundamental-rights frameworks, as well as its role in protecting the interests of future generations. Article P, Section (1) of the Fundamental Law stipulates the obligation to preserve the nation’s common heritage for future generations. From it derives the general expectation that, in the course of legislation, one must take into account the individual and common needs of not only the present but the future as well, and, when considering the expected effects, one must stick to the principles of precaution and prevention.
In the context of the workshop’s three main topics, i.e., the institutional framework of protecting cultural heritage, archeology, and high-rise buildings, the participants discussed the special significance of social consultations and awareness-raising, stressing that a predictable, solid institutional and legal background is essential for sound planning.
Ombudsman Gyula Bándi intends to keep on facilitating, in the future as well, discussions on the subject of protecting cultural heritage, involving the workshop’s participants and all those concerned, in order to monitor processes that have already yielded results and lead to new objectives, and to promote collaboration and brainstorming among all stakeholders.