Greener travel for everyone - Fit for 55 proposals for the transport sector

2 hét 5 nap ago

A systemic review of transport at EU level is back on the agenda. This is not surprising, as it is high time to start seriously addressing the issue of climate change and adapting our legal systems to the new situation. Climate catastrophe is no longer the future, it is the present, and even at best, it is not a temporary issue. Road transport accounts for around 20% of all energy-related emissions in Europe, so it is inevitable that this sector will have to make serious emission reductions.


On 11 December 2019, the Commission published its Communication on a "European Green Deal", which aims to address climate and environmental challenges and achieve climate neutrality for Europe by 2050. Achieving this is inconceivable without a profound change in the economy and societal attitudes. To achieve these objectives, the European Commission has proposed new measures in eight policy areas.

The legal framework for this is the "Fit for 55", which includes proposals to review and update EU legislation and introduce new initiatives to ensure that EU policies are consistent with the climate targets agreed upon by the Council and the European Parliament. Its name refers to the EU's target to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030. [1]

Road transport

The Fit for 55 package for road transport aims to reduce carbon emissions. The general approach was adopted in June 2022 to set stricter carbon standards in the EU. This is no small area, as cars and vans are responsible for 15% of total EU carbon emissions. From 2035, it is proposed that new cars and light commercial vehicles put on the market should be zero emission. However, many manufacturers have already committed themselves to this, so it would be better to speed up the process rather than giving extra concessions through EU bargaining. [2]

The road transport provisions of the package also cover heavy goods vehicles, so you will see greener trucks on the road in the near future. CO2 emissions from heavy-duty vehicles (e.g. lorries, buses, coaches) account for 6% of total EU CO2 emissions and 27% of total CO2 emissions from road transport. Manufacturers who go against the package will have to pay a financial penalty in the form of an excess emissions premium. In addition, concrete measures will ensure that large amounts of reliable data are available to monitor the actual fuel and energy consumption of heavy-duty vehicles. [3]

Air and water transport

Certain pollutants released into the air by human activities are causing global climate change. The gradual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, nitrogen oxides, water vapour and soot particles are having a major impact on the temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and are causing global temperatures to rise.

The transport and freight sectors are also largely responsible for this trend. According to 2018 data, the road transport sector is responsible for the highest CO2 emissions in the EU, followed by the aviation sector (14.4%), while the third most atmospherically destructive sector is shipping with its emissions (13.5%). 

Sustainable transport fuels can play an important role in climate protection. While the road transport sector has made progress in the last decade with the use of electric or hybrid vehicles and biofuels, and the electrification of rail transport, the air, maritime and freight transport sectors use fossil fuels almost exclusively. The two sectors currently have limited opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint on the earth due to their dependence on fossil fuels and the lack of mature and competitive alternative fuel technologies. A further cross-border problem is that the market for sustainable fuels is at a standstill, as demand for them is very low and fuel companies have little incentive to produce them.

The EU's climate policy objectives will only be successful in the EU if policy is set at EU level and central regulation and action is taken to promote the large-scale production and marketing of sustainable fuels and to increase their competitiveness.

The package contains two initiatives and proposals:

Comparison of the goals of the two drafts

ReFuelEU Aviation (draft on ensuring a level playing field for sustainable transport)

FuelEU Maritime (draft on the use of renewable and low-emission fuels for maritime transport)

  • Aircraft fuel distributors at EU airports should gradually increase the share of sustainable fuels (target 63% by 2050)
  • Aircraft departing from EU airports should only be refuelled with the sustainable fuel needed to operate the flight (to avoid increased emissions associated with excess fuel weight.)
  • EU airports should have the appropriate infrastructure for the transport, storage and filling of sustainable aviation fuels
  • For ships (except fishing vessels) of more than 5,000 gross tonnes calling at European ports, the GHG intensity of energy used on board should be reduced. Target: 59% by 2030 and 75% by 2050.
  • Vessels moored at quayside should be connected to shore-side electricity sources to meet their electricity needs from 2030.

Source: Own editing

The regulations are intended to encourage the wider use of sustainable fuels in the transport sector, which is expected to lead to significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

In line with the aims of the proposals, the EU Commission has put forward a proposal to revise existing legislation with a view to accelerating the deployment of infrastructure for the refuelling of alternative fuel vehicles and providing alternative energy supplies for ships at berth in ports and for stationary aircraft.[4]

Railway service

The modernisation of rail transport in the EU has also been ongoing for several years. In 2020, the Council adopted a decision on the European Year of Rail and 2021 has been declared the European Year of Rail. The objective of the decision is to promote railways and increase their contribution to industry and society as the most sustainable mode of transport. According to 2017 figures from the European Environment Agency, rail is responsible for only half of the EU's total GHG emissions.[5]

In addition, the rights of rail passengers have been revised to promote this form of transport. Notably, they are trying to make it easier to transport bicycles by making capacity information mandatory and providing space for at least 4 bicycles on every train in Europe. This may be due to the fact that the COVID-19 epidemic has increased the importance of cycling and walking in many European cities. It also shows that if we provide people with the right, efficient means of transport, they will choose the environmentally friendly option.

Financial resources

Under the Investment Plan for a Sustainable Europe, the European Union would mobilise at least €1000 billion for sustainable investment by 2030. To make this amount available over the next decade, a combination of different sources of funding and public and private investment will be needed.

Between 2021 and 2030, the EU budget plans to provide €503 billion for such spending. The InvestEU Fund will provide around €279 billion. The Innovation Fund and the Modernisation Fund can provide €25 billion. These two funds will be financed by revenues from the auctioning of allowances under the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Also on 14 January 2020, the European Commission proposed the creation of a fair mechanism for the transition to the EU ETS, consisting of 3 pillars:

  • An Equitable Switchover Fund, which would mainly provide non-repayable grants,
  • A financing programme to be set up under InvestEU to attract private investment, mainly in energy and transport infrastructure and decarbonisation projects,
  • A Public Sector Lending Facility to be set up with the European Investment Bank.

The Commission has proposed an investment of €100 billion. 18 Member States have requested such support. The European Commission approved all applications, including Hungary's. In addition, a Social Climate Fund has been set up to finance concrete measures to tackle energy and mobility poverty. [6]


The protection of environmental values is a new trend across Europe and sustainable economic concepts are gaining ground in politics. Climate change affects every individual and every region, so there is a need to empower cities, regions and people.

Our position is in line with that of the Vice-President of the European Commission that action can serve as a lifeline from the circumstances of the COVID-19 epidemic and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. This has the merit of focusing more on the economic side of the 3 pillars of sustainability, but its positive impact on the environment is striking.

The proposals for action contained in this European Green Deal are ambitious and could serve as a guide for other continents. However, it makes sense to implement the initiatives while guaranteeing equity and social support. In this way, people's living standards would only feel the change to the extent that is necessary and they would more easily continue to act in accordance with the law.


Author: Lilla Balogh, law student, University of Debrecen Faculty of Law


[1] European Green Deal,

[2] Fit for 55: why the EU is toughening CO2 emission standards for cars and vans,

[3] Cutting emissions: Council adopts CO2 standards for trucks,

[4] Fit for 55: increasing the uptake of greener fuels in the aviation and maritime sectors,

[5] Clean and sustainable mobility,

[6]Az európai zöld megállapodás,

Kategória: Public TransportationBrexit Eng: Fogyasztóvédelem: Consumer Protection: 16th Anniversary: 

One step forward, two steps back? – Or a brief assessment of the status of Ukraine and Moldova as EU membership candidates

1 hónap 1 hét ago

This blog post tries to demonstrate why the European Union (henceforth abbreviated as the EU or the Union) considers enlargement policy as a key domain these days – whether it considers it as a foreign policy or geopolitical instrument, and how this relates to Ukraine and Moldova’s candidate status.

Russia's unprovoked and unjustified military attack against Ukraine (a year ago) became a strong motive for strengthening the geopolitical component in the EU's foreign policy. This conflict encouraged European countries to re-evaluate their security strategy – because for many years the Western countries thought they were able to maintain the balance between Russia's containment and constructive practical cooperation with Ukraine (and the Eastern region), but today they cannot see any solution to restore the balance of the previous decades. The EU's responses to Russia's actions are products of provocation, as European countries consider Ukraine as a part of their community, and the aggression against Ukraine an attack against them. This demonstration made it possible to meaningfully discuss Ukraine's application for membership – for some time there has been a serious debate in the EU regarding whether it meets the conditions for membership and the need to comply with procedural rules, but in the end, the political line in favour of accession prevailed. The speed with which the Commission drew up its conclusions on the possibility of granting Ukraine candidate status, which it was granted at the meeting of the European Council on June 23-24. 2022, is significant. The decision can be shored up by geopolitical arguments – thus this previously hidden dimension of the enlargement policy became more and more prominent.

Since it is not yet clear how soon and under what conditions the armed conflict in Ukraine will be resolved, it is difficult to work out the details of the progress of its EU membership. In addition, the EU has many basic tasks for the successful enlargement process – it should reform its institutions and decision-making process (the last reform in this direction is included by the Treaty of Lisbon). The most urgent element of this reform is the further expansion of qualified majority voting and the reduction of the number of decisions requiring a unanimous decision, given that the EU becomes hostage to the vetoes of some countries in areas such as the common foreign and security policy, the multiannual financial framework or enlargement. Increasing the number of the member states would further complicate the situation. It would be expedient for expansion decisions if the beginning and end of the process, the granting of candidate member status and the admission of the new member after the negotiations, were still based on the principle of unanimity; all intermediate stages, such as the opening and temporary closure of negotiations on individual chapters, would be voted by a qualified majority based on the opinion of the Commission. A change like this would ensure that the enlargement process is guided by merit-based criteria and minimize abuse of the veto for domestic political purposes.

It is not the first time in the history of the EU that the enlargement perspective meets the need for deepening integration, but it would be wrong to assume that there is a contradiction between the two, given that the European Union needs both, as they are two sides of the same coin.

In addition to Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova (henceforth abbreviated as Moldova) also got attention in the EU's enlargement agenda. As a result of the recent changes – after the overwhelming success of PAS in July 2021, the presidential victory of Maia Sandu – Moldova is striving for closer relations with the EU.

Moldova's intention to join dates to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and its subsequent independence. After the fall of the Soviet Union, the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) provided a framework for the development of political and economic relations; it also emphasized the importance of democratic values, human rights and the market economy as essential elements of the partnership. This pact was replaced in 2014 by the association agreement (Moldova – European Union Association Agreement), the objectives of which included the support of future political union and economic integration between the two parties, the increase of Moldova's participation in EU policies, programs and agencies, as well as increasing the economic potential of Moldova by establishing the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA). The European Council provided further support to Moldova to meet the expected standards in the EU, including representing two multi-annual action plans in 2013 and 2017 – both focused on the justice sector, the fight against corruption, media pluralism and media freedom.

Examination of conditions for membership in Moldova

The stability of the institutions that ensure democracy was examined during the parliamentary elections held in April 2009, when the winning Party of the Communists of the Republic of Moldova was accused by the opposition of obtaining most of the votes by fraud. The triumph of the party with communist ideals was followed by public disturbance – among the approximately 15,000 protesters, the general belief was that the votes had been bought or doubly counted. The recount led to the same result, but the people and the opposition parties were still dissatisfied with this outcome, so they boycotted the upcoming presidential election, and as a result, the parliament could not elect a new president; this led to the dissolution of parliament and early elections. Corruption can be considered as one of the country's biggest problems, which presents in most public sectors, such as healthcare, education and the judiciary – "bribes" are a common phenomenon. The general public opinion is that the government is handling this question very poorly or not at all. Bribery can be said to be rooted in culture, as a "legacy" of the Soviet Union, which is gradually disappearing but change takes time. In addition, Moldova is (also) known for one of the biggest bank frauds in history, which is known locally as "country theft" and internationally as the "billion-dollar bank fraud". The Council called on Moldovan authorities to investigate the 2014 fraud cases involving the country’s banking system thoroughly and impartially, with the aim of recovering the stolen funds.

And why is this a pivotal point in the enlargement policy? Just like Ukraine, Moldova also has geopolitical relevance. The former Soviet republic bordering Ukraine has also been involved in the war – the part beyond Dniester is controlled by Russian separatists. Transnistria is a separatist autonomous region that announced its secession from Moldova in 1990, but after all is a "product" of the Transnistrian War of 1992. The real motive behind the incident can only be guessed, but since the region has strategic importance to the Russians, the growing danger that it could fall into the hands of its European rivals could have served as a sufficient explanation for the conflict. In addition to Donbass, Russia also aims to conquer the southern part of Ukraine, which would thus create a connection between it and Transnistria.

In its conclusions of December 2022, the European Union recognized Moldova’s efforts to achieve the goals that form the basis of its EU candidate status and encouraged it to continue the reforms; however, Moldova enjoys much less support, and even among those who support Ukraine's accession, some have taken the position that it directly hinders the work of Kyiv.


The Russian-Ukrainian conflict in 2022 and the resulting decision by Ukraine to submit its application for official EU membership gave a strong impetus to the transformation of the enlargement policy. The logic of projecting the norms and values (previously prevailing in the European Union) and the transformation of the partner countries has faded into the background, giving way to a geopolitical perspective that guarantees the security of the countries of the "European family". What can be the aim of the European Union with the enlargements? Presumably, the EU also aspires to a global "career", but can it get closer to this by accepting two states that do not meet the conditions for membership in many ways? It is certain that the two candidate countries, examined by the article, came to the forefront of the enlargement policy due to geopolitical considerations. To the question of whether this factor is worth so much that the EU in return "takes on" the problems of these countries and provides them (considerable) help in areas that need development, I think we will only know the answer if Ukraine and Moldova advance from the candidate queue to members. However, in my opinion, the principles and values laid down by the EU over many years are not negligible, they should not be ignored for any reason.

Author: Petra Olesnyovics, law student, University of Debrecen Faculty of Law



  1. Marek Dabrowski: Towards a New Eastern Enlargement of the EU and Beyond, Intereconomics, 2022, 57(4), 209 – 2012
  2. N. Yu. Kaveshnikov: Ukraine’s Membership Application As a Trigger to Reform the EU Enlargement Policy, Sovremennaya Evropa (European Studies), 2022, No 6., S651 – S659
  3. Rikard Jozwiak: A EU-csatlakozás hosszú útja Georgia, Moldova és Ukrajna előtt (
  4. Tinatin Akhlediani: Geopolitical and Security Concerns of the EU’s Enlargement to the East: The Case of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, Intereconomics, 2022, 57(4), 225 – 228
  5. Váradi Szilvia: Az Európai Unió bővítési mechanizmusa. In: Acta Universitas Szegedienis: acta juridicaet politica: publicationes dectorandorum juridicorum, (7) 1 – 15. pp. 341 – 362. (2007)
Kategória: European UnionBrexit Eng: Fogyasztóvédelem: Consumer Protection: 16th Anniversary: 

Do I really want to buy this service?

2 hónap ago

Nowadays the people can easily fulfil their wishes via various online platforms, websites just in a few seconds. But the more the technology progresses the more questions will arise whether we are able to purchase services safely or we are the victims of shady manipulation tactics which are intended to influence us and which the average consumer hasn’t got much chance to recognize on his own. Algorithms provide personalised services, and, in this context, comfort functions tailored to consumer needs. Moreover, data-driven technologies enable businesses to micro-target consumers with advertising and personalised offers, monitor competitors’ prices more easily and this comfort may give the people false sense of safety. In this essay I will talk about the importance of recognizing the dark patterns and how they are being used in the practice.

Dark patterns

There is currently no legal concept of what “dark patterns” are. The original term was created by Harry Brignull, founder of, who defined it as “tricks used in websites and apps that make you do things that you didn't mean to, like buying or signing up for something”.[1]It can also be referred to as online interface or a part thereof that via its structure, function or manner of operation, subverts or impairs the autonomy, decisionmaking, or choice of recipients of the service.”[2]

These patterns and practices sometimes use aggressive psychological pressure which is defined in the UPC Act as „A commercial practice shall be regarded as aggressive if, in its factual context, taking account of all its features and circumstances, by harassment, coercion, including the use of physical force, or undue influence for exploiting a position of power in relation to the consumer so as to apply pressure, it significantly impairs or is likely to significantly impair the average consumer’s freedom of choice or conduct and the consumer’s ability to make an informed decision with regard to the product and thereby causes him or is likely to cause him to take a transactional decision that he would not have taken otherwise.” Naming the different kinds of these patterns is quite difficult, but there is a table[3] that can provide reliable information:







Repeated requests to do something that the online company prefers

Social proof

Activity messages





Misleading notice about other

consumers’ actions


Misleading statements from consumers


Roach Motel/difficult




Price comparison prevention



Intermediate currency

Asymmetry between signing up (easy) and cancelling (hard)


Frustrates comparison shopping


Purchases in virtual currencies to obscure costs


Sneak into basket


Hidden Costs



Hidden Subscription / forced continuity


Bait and Switch

Items that consumers did not add end up in the cart

Costs obscured or disclosed late in the transaction


Unanticipated or undesired automatic renewal


Consumers is sold something different from what originally advertised

Interface interference

Hidden information / False hierarchy



Preselection (default)



Toying with emotion



Trick questions




Disguised Ad




Important information visually obscured or ordered in a way to promote a specific option


Preselected default option that is in the company’s interest


Emotionally manipulative framing of the design


Intentional or obvious ambiguity to confuse consumer


Consumer induced to click on something that is not clearly an advertisement


Choice framed in a way that seems dishonest / stupid for consumer

Forced action

Forced Registration



Consumer tricked into thinking registration is necessary


Low stock / high demand message


Countdown timer / Limited time message

Consumers falsely informed of limited quantities


Opportunity ends soon with false visual information


In conclusion, we can sum up[4] these patterns:

  1. Pressure. This concerns dark patterns, which pressure a consumer to share more personal data than intended to continue using a service or product. For example, pressuring to allow permissions or pressuring to receive marketing.
  2. Hinder. This involves those practices that delay, hide, or make it difficult for the consumer to adopt privacy protective actions. For example, difficult or hidden settings, or privacy invasive defaults.
  3. Mislead. The use of language, form, and interface elements to mislead consumers while taking privacy related actions. For example, double negative, ambiguity, or framing.
  4. Misrepresent. The misrepresentation of facts to induce consumers to share more personal data than intended. For example, false necessity or false experience improvement.
Recognised and justified cases from the Hungarian case law

The main problem of dark patterns is that they don’t emerge in isolation, moreover chances are that they are in a combination with each other, making it much more burdensome for the average consumer to recognize them. Speaking of the difficulty of their recognition, due to their manipulative nature, it is hard to prevent the unwanted manipulation and influence. However, here in Hungary, the Hungarian Competition Authority (HCA) – in my point of view – does an excellent job of providing useful information via podcasts and case analyses.

Wizz Air case

The Hungarian Competition Authority has launched an investigation against the airline Wizz Air, as it is believed to be misleading consumers towards its premium services during the purchase of tickets. The airline is believed to withhold (or disclose late) important information from the point of view of consumers' decisions on its online platforms in order to influence ticket buyers in the direction of more expensive options.

According to the suspicion, the company is hiding from consumers that they have the option to supplement the cheapest package option by ordering priority service or checked baggage. In connection with some higher-cost package options, the company may misleadingly claim that "it can be even more expensive" if you reserve a seat only at check-in - this is probably true only for other, cheaper package options. In addition, during the online passenger check-in process, the company was able to use misleading names and other technical solutions to enable consumers to select premium seats.

Here we can see, that the “sneaking”, “interface interference” and “social proof” was used in order to mislead the consumer and make a bigger profit. [5]

Szállá case

The Hungarian Competition Authority found the operating practices of to be unlawful, as the accommodation search engine exerted psychological pressure on consumers with its urgent messages. The competition authority obliged the company operating the service to a complex set of measures.

The investigation by the Competition Authority revealed that urgent information appearing on the website and mobile application of (e.g. "Four people are planning to book here." "Just 38 people are looking." "There are only 2 rooms left on our site!") are considered illegal. Due to the way they appeared, the messages used psychological pressure to convey to consumers that the accommodations they were looking for were only available to a limited extent. This method, which is considered an aggressive commercial practice, disrupts the decision-making process of users and can significantly limit their ability to make an informed choice.

As the aforementioned practices are explained, we can observe the working of “nagging” and the “urgency”. [6] case

The Hungarian Competition Authority imposed a HUF 2.5 billion fine on the operator of the online accommodation booking portal, and also banned the Dutch company from continuing its aggressive sales methods. According to the decision of the competition authority, B.V. engaged in unfair commercial practices towards consumers by, among other things, misleadingly advertising some of its accommodations with the option of free cancellation, as well as aggressive psychological pressure to make a reservation as soon as possible.

As a result of the competition supervision procedure launched by the Competition Authority in 2018, it found the commercial practice on the website to be unlawful in three respects:

  • in the television and internet advertisements promoting the service, the company particularly emphasized the "free cancellation" of the accommodations. In fact, in the case of many accommodations, consumers could only use this option for a limited time, and they also paid a higher price than for the same accommodation without "free cancellation", i.e. the price of the free cancellation was included in the price of the accommodation concerned.
  • In connection with the accommodation offers available on Booking's website and mobile application, at each step of the accommodation search and booking process, it published urgent information (displayed in a striking color, font size or other emphasis) (e.g. "32 more people are looking"; "Someone is considering to book this accommodation", "Highly sought after! 17 bookings have been made here in the last 24 hours", etc.), which give the consumer the impression that the accommodation they are looking for is very popular and has limited availability. This practice lends itself to psychological pressure and disrupts the consumer's decision-making process. Similar messages subconsciously evoke such emotions and fear in consumers that if they do not book the accommodation as soon as possible, they may miss it (a phenomenon described in the literature as the FOMO effect). All of this distorts the consumer's business decision.

The company did not act with the expected professional care when displaying the offers of accommodation providers in Hungary when displaying the Széchenyi Pihenőkártya (SZÉP Card) as a preferred means of payment. Consumers were not able to detect the availability of this payment method in the same way and place for all accommodations accepting the SZÉP Card, which could also distort their decision. [7]


As we saw, it is particularly difficult to recognize the various forms of dark patterns. But the way I see it, the average consumer is not helpless against these forms of manipulation. We must use the Internet and online services with a high level of awareness in order to not become victims of undue and unwanted manipulation.


Author:  Dominik Boros, law student, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Law


  • Deceptive Design - user interfaces crafted to trick you
  • BEUC: “Dark Patterns” and the EU consumer law acquis, 2022, 6.p
  • Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Alba Boluda, Francesco Bogliacino, Giovanni Liva, Lucie Lechardoy, Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell April 2022: Behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment: dark patterns and manipulative personalisation, 30.p
  • Jarovsky, Luiza, Dark Patterns in Personal Data Collection: Definition, Taxonomy and Lawfulness (March 1, 2022). 29-32.p
  • VJ/1/2023.
  • VJ/41/2019.
  • VJ/17/2018.

[1] Deceptive Design - user interfaces crafted to trick you

[2] BEUC: “Dark Patterns” and the EU consumer law acquis, 2022, 6.p

[3] this table is based on: Francisco Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Alba Boluda, Francesco Bogliacino, Giovanni Liva, Lucie Lechardoy, Teresa Rodríguez de las Heras Ballell April 2022: Behavioural study on unfair commercial practices in the digital environment: dark patterns and manipulative personalisation, 30.p

[4] Jarovsky, Luiza, Dark Patterns in Personal Data Collection: Definition, Taxonomy and Lawfulness (March 1, 2022). 29-32.p

[5] VJ/1/2023.

[6] VJ/41/2019.

[7] VJ/17/2018.

Kategória: TradeBrexit Eng: Fogyasztóvédelem: Consumer Protection: 16th Anniversary: 

Dynamics of employment termination – the question of the parties needs in the mirror of the rules of termination in the Hungarian Labor Code

2 hónap 1 hét ago

When we talk about the enforcement of our labor claims, we immediately may think about the classic ways provided in our Labor Code (hereinafter: LC), such as the mutual agreement of the parties, demand for payment, or the most important way: the labor lawsuit. In my opinion, termination of employment relationship might be suitable for both parties to enforce their claims in a legal way, without using any other method of enforcement mentioned above. This fact is also reflected in the justification of the draft form of the current Labor Code, where the legislator stated that the termination system needed to be re-regulated to reduce the number of labor conflicts and lawsuits.[1] In my short article, I undertake to examine and present the question of how the ways of termination collaborate with the interest of both parties of the employment relationship, and to find its possible critical points.

I. The question of the purpose and duration of the employment relationship in relation to termination

With regard to the parties' needs in relation to the employment relationship, I consider it essential to examine the purpose of the employment relationship, ie what the main needs of the parties are and what motivates them to establish or maintain the legal relationship. Basically, the purpose of the employment relationship is various, cannot be determined in one, complete and concrete definition. On the side of the employers, accomplishing the employers’ economic interests and aims is the main purpose of this legal relationship. So, the point of the employers’ view, establishing and maintaining legal relationships with employees aims the providing of manpower to ensure the accomplishment of the economic goals. These legal relationships need to be permanent since employers are not capable for realizing their economic goals on their own. The production of material goods and the creation of value require the employment, mental and physical strength of workers. Summarizing the above, the main needs of employers are no other than the employment of suitable employees, who are competent to perform the tasks to maintain their operation and to achieve their financial goals.[2] As I think, on the side of the employees, this question is much more complicated, because in an employment relationship the power inequality between the parties is a dominant sign of this type of legal relationship, the social purpose of Hungarian labor law is to protect the weaker party.[3] On the one hand, labor relationship and within that the wages and salaries paid after work provides the most important, but not only existential security of employees. It is in the best interests of employees to carry out their work in a job appropriate to their qualifications and status, in return for adequate remuneration, thereby obtaining the material and intangible conditions necessary for the development of their personality.[4] If we examine the provisions of Section 51 of the current Hungarian LC, it can be seen that the main obligations of the parties, such as the employer's employment and wage obligations, as well as the employee's work and availability obligations, are in line with the parties' previously expressed needs.[5]

Due to the purpose of the employment relationship, the permanent nature of the legal relationship is important for both participants in the legal relationship due to the fulfillment of the purpose. However, the loss of the purpose of the employment relationship described above may occur on the part of either party, which circumstance entails the termination of the employment relationship. On the employer side, this is usually due to economic reasons, as well as the employee's personality and behavior, while on the employee side, the reasons for the loss of interest can range from ambition to disappointment in the employer's expectations to wages.[6] In the following, I will examine the three methods named by Mt. from the perspective of the interests of the parties, mainly the employees.

II. The issues of termination of employment by mutual agreement

According to the legal literature, the termination of a legal relationship by mutual agreement is the most cultured, risk-free form of termination that best serves the interests of the parties, in which case the loss of purpose is, in principle, on both sides.[7] From this we can conclude that ideally both parties have an interest in the termination: the employee may have found a more ideal job, in addition to which the employer found a more ideal candidate for the job in parallel, but these reasons are also very diverse and cannot be listed completely. However, in terms of enforcement, in my view, mutual agreement has two aspects that are worth taking under scrutiny.

One aspect is the content of the mutual agreement: being a contract, the parties can agree on any matter that they consider relevant and not prohibited by law. In this respect, there is a tendency on the part of employers to include a waiver clause of a general nature in the mutual agreement they offer, thus agreeing that there is no clearing relationship between the parties either at the time of termination or for the future.[8] The practice of the Curia handles the waiver clauses otherwise with caution, examining whether the employee's contractual will actually extended to any benefit or claim that may be claimed later, and whether there has been any deception in this regard. This question also depends, of course, on whether the benefit has been determined item by item or only in summary form, because in the former case the chances of subsequent employee enforcement will be very low.[9]

As another issue, I would like to look at the case of coercion to sign the mutual agreement by the employer. In many cases, employers force their employees to sign a mutual agreement by coercion or threat, for the main purpose of relieving them of the obligation to pay severance pay in the event of termination of employment.[10] In this case, in fact, the loss of interest occurred solely on their side, so that a mutual agreement provides an appropriate basis for employer’s misuses. From this point of view, the employee's existential interest in employment is eroded: on the one hand, he loses his livelihood job and, on the other hand, is quasi-deprived of his legitimate expectation of severance pay.[11] From the point of view of enforcement, the problem with this is that the Labor Code - in accordance with the Hungarian Civil Code - gives the parties a right of challenge due to coercion and threat, leaving it in a stricter way, leaving a narrower deadline. The employee has a subjective period of 30 days and an objective period of 6 months to assert his or her interests in the employment relationship characterized by subordination. In civil law, on the other hand, a time limit of one year is provided for this in the legal relations of equal parties. Employers may also maintain a coercive or threatening situation after signing the deed, which allows the objective 6-month period to expire without being challenged, thus causing a loss of rights to enforce the employee's interests. De lege ferenda, it would be appropriate to set at least that time limit the civil law provides or more favorable among the rules of challenge in Labor Code to eliminate the vulnerability detailed above.[12]

III. Issues of dismissal and immediate dismissal

In the event of a dismissal the employer, the loss of purpose described above will appear on the employer's side, so that it will meet his needs if he terminates the employment of the employee. The reasons can be various, such as reorganization, quality replacement, or even loss of trust. In this respect, it must be examined whether the dismissal, how compatible is with the interests of the employee.  I am thinking here mainly of the replacement and provision of his salary and subsistence. One way to do this is through severance pay: the main criticism of the new Labor Code is that the number of persons entitled to severance pay has been reduced compared to the previous law[13], the regulation is schematic, it does not consider circumstances other than the time spent with the employer, and the amount of severance payment is very low.[14] The following change can be observed in the amount: the previous Code adjusts the amount of the severance payment to the average earnings, and the current law adjusts the amount of the severance payment to the absence allowance, which Tamás Prugberger considers to be a social shortening and contrary to the Western European trend. I agree with his position that, in order to strengthen the position of workers, the legislator should return to the previous rules, because as mentioned, as one of the main functions of severance pay is to provide a living for the worker without income.[15]

In addition to severance pay, I believe that we need to look at other income-replacement legal institutions to ensure workers' livelihoods. I will first examine the job-search allowance. Nowadays, the amount and duration of the job-search allowance is the subject of constant debate, which can be said to be remarkably low internationally. At present, benefits can be paid for a maximum of 90 days, which is based on the insurance principle. Its daily amount is the 60% of the gross daily wage, but maximum the amount of the minimum wage per day.[16] Second, if the employee still cannot find a job, he or she may receive a maximum of benefits for the active age under the Social Act,  employment replacement benefits, to be exact, if he or she meets the conditions prescribed by law, which are otherwise too strict in my opinion. This results in an extremely low amount of benefits, corresponding to 80% of the current minimum pension, which, according to today's calculations, corresponds to HUF 22,800.[17] In my view, the regulation of both the job-search allowance and the benefits for the active age group is completely inadequate to ensure the livelihood of the former employee, and thus of the job-seeker. The former is unreasonably low in duration and amount, does not take sufficient account of the amount of contribution paid in my opinion, the latter is in my opinion humiliatingly low and is everything, just not suitable for ensuring a living wage.

Taking the case of a possible immediate dismissal by the employer into consideration - as Article XIX on Social Security of our current Basic Law provides the social protection only in the event of involuntary unemployment, the security of a worker 's livelihood may be jeopardized.[18]It may follow directly from the constitutional rule that an amendment to the law may occur at any time, which accordingly precludes the payment of a job-search allowance to a jobseeker who has become unemployed due to immediate dismissal. In any case, it can be considered as self-fault, since the Labor Code allows the employer to terminate the relationship immediately if the employee significantly violates an essential obligation arising from the employment relationship intentionally or through gross negligence, and if he or she behaves in a manner that makes it impossible to maintain the legal relationship.[19]

In my opinion, the termination of the employment relationship and the conflict between the needs and enforcement of the interests of the parties could be examined in many other aspects, but this is no longer possible in this short article, due to the limits. Overall, I would conclude that there is a need for a regulatory review of termination of employment in order to enforce the interests of the parties, in particular the employee, in the light of the facts and circumstances set out above.


Author:  Ferenc Orosz, law student, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Law

The research was carried out within the framework of the “Programs for Improving the Quality of Legal Training” supported by the Ministry of Justice.

[1] Magyar Köztársaság Kormánya: T/4786. számú törvényjavaslat a Munka Törvénykönyvéről. 128.

[2] Petrovics Zoltán: A biztonság árnyékában. A munkaviszony megszüntetésével szembeni védelem alapkérdései. (Doktori Értekezés) 36 – 37.

[3] Gyulavári Tamás (szerk.): Munkajog. ELTE Eötvös Kiadó, Budapest, 2017. 171 – 172.

[4] Petrovics: i.m. 36.

[5] A Munka Törvénykönyvéről szóló 2012. évi I törvény 51. §.

[6] Petrovics: i.m. 40 – 42.

[7] Lőrincz György: A munkaviszony megszűnése és megszüntetése. HVG-ORAC Lap- és Könyvkiadó Kft., Budapest, 2017. 64 – 65.

[8] Bihary Ákos – Mudri Sándor: Munkaviszony megszüntetése közös megegyezéssel? Veszélyes is lehet! (download: 2022.03.18.)

[9] Lőrincz: i.m. 73 – 75.

[10] Prugberger Tamás – Nádas György: Európai és magyar összehasonlító munka- és közszolgálati jog. Wolters Kluwer Kft., Budapest, 2014. 379.  

[11] Gyulavári: i.m. 221.

[12] Prugberger Tamás: Munkáltatói visszaélések a munkaviszony megszüntetése során az új munkajogi szabályozás kihasználásával. Gazdaság és Jog, XXIV. évf. 2016/10. sz. 4.

[13] Ferencz Jácint: Védelemből elégtelen, indokolásból felmentve. 172. (download: 2022. 03.20.)

[14] Bankó Zoltán: A munkaviszony megszüntetésére vonatkozó szabályok. Miskolci Jogi Szemle 12. évf. (2017) 2. különszám 33.

[15] Prugberger: i.m. 7.

[16] (download: 2022.03.20.)

[17]!DocumentBrowse (download: 2020.03.20.)

[18] Magyarország Alaptörvénye XIX. cikk (1) bek.

[19] Mt. 78. § (1) bek.

Kategória: Civil serviceBrexit Eng: Fogyasztóvédelem: Consumer Protection: 16th Anniversary: 

Court of Justice of the EU on drinking water policy: Member States are obliged not to authorise a project that may cause a deterioration in the quality of a body of water

2 hónap 2 hét ago

According to the rules, the approval of a project is only possible when the implementation does not adversely affect the quality of the drinking water provided to the inhabitants in the affected area. The Regional Office for Mining, Geology and Raw Materials, Cottbus (Germany) approved an application submitted by Lausitz Energie Bergbau AG for the construction of an artificial lake, the overflow of which would flow into the river Spree. Upon creation of the lake, the water leaving the overflow would have a significantly higher sulphate concentration than the water already in the Spree. The Spree is also one of the sources Frankfurter Wasser- und Abwassergesellschaft (FWA) uses to produce drinking water and the river’s water already has a high concentration of sulphate, originating from closed open-cast mines. The City of Frankfurt (Oder) and FWA therefore brought an action against the planning approval decision.

The Verwaltungsgericht Cottbus referred several questions to the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling aimed at interpreting for the first time Article 7(3) of the Water Framework Directive. (Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field  of water policy (OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1)  With regard to the issue of legal standing, the Advocate General posits that the legal persons tasked, under national law, with the production and purification treatment of drinking water have a right to require that a competent authority, responsible for approving a project that is liable to have an adverse impact on the purification level of drinking water, observe the obligations laid down in the Water Framework Directive.

Advocate General Medina then specifies the scope of the Member States' obligation to ensure the necessary protection of bodies of water used for the production of drinking water.

To summarize: member states must take the necessary measures in order to achieve the specific objectives of the Water Framework Directive and the use of the terms ‘the necessary protection’ in Article 7(3), in light of the prevention principle, indicates that, before the competent authority approves an individual project, it must first assess that that project will not have adverse effects on the quality of water bodies used for the production of drinking water. Once again: the approval of a project is possible only where its implementation does not affect adversely the water provided (through the tap) to the inhabitants in the affected area. That means that a project may be approved only where it includes, where appropriate, a complete set of measures in order to ensure that compliance with the Drinking Water Directive is not adversely affected.


Author: Krivanics Ildikólaw student, University of Debrecen, Faculty of Law


Further reading:

Advocate General’s Opinion in Case C-723/21

Kategória: Water ManagementBrexit Eng: Fogyasztóvédelem: Consumer Protection: 16th Anniversary: 
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