The strategic dimensions of the international co-operation activity of the Commissioner are determined by the Commissioner’s three major roles – investigation, policy advocacy, strategy and research – and the Office’s international statutory obligations.
Even though only very few dedicated environmental ombudsmen operate in the world, several ombudsmen handle environmental issues in the broad sense (spatial planning, environmental health issues, etc.). Naturally, the Commissioner intends to draw on the relevant experience of foreign ombudsmen. Similarly, sharing his own experience with fellow ombudspersons around the world is also a priority. Given that in international comparison the Commissioner has the broadest powers in the relevant field, the Commissioner’s Office intends to generate an informal network of environmental ombudsmen. The Commissioner will also join the most important international ombudsman associations such as the International Ombudsman Institute, European Network of Ombudsmen.
As an advocate of the interest of future generations, the Commissioner holds responsibilities not only for environmental matters, but also for the international institutionalisation of such representation. Consequently, in addition to conventional ombudsmen co-operation the Commissioner aims to establish an active relationship with organisations engaged in the promotion of issues critical for future generations, including those advocating the institutionalisation of sustainable development. This activity will embrace organisations and initiatives concerning a broad range of issues relating to the protection of the environment and cultural heritage.
As an independent centre for science the Commissioner’s Office intends to establish a network of scientists and to launch a number of initiatives in the fields of natural and social sciences focusing on the needs and interests of future generations (e.g. legal representation of future generations, scenario planning, climate research). The synopsis of this activity is the annual Future Generations talk, to be held on the subject of sustainable development, the rights and possibilities of the generations to come. The event intends to convene leading international social and natural scientists as well as campaigners active in those fields that are seen as the most relevant for future generations. While the thrust of the gathering is of scientific nature, the conclusions of the conference will be presented to political and economic decision-makers as well the wider public.
In addition, the Office participates in all international educational, training, scientific fora where it has a chance to present its activities and achievements. Furthermore, the Commissioner’s Office intends to cooperate on a regular basis with a range of scientific centres whose research activities are relevant for the institutional or environmental interests of future generations. The Office also supports the individual scientific activities of its employees that are undertaken in relation the Commission’s mission.
Under the Ombudsman Act the Commissioner is provided with a wide range of powers to influence Hungary’s participation in international environmental politics. In particular the Commissioner
part in the EU decision-making process of the Government of Hungary;
- is to be consulted on proposals to accede to international conventions concerning the protection of the
environmental and cultural heritage;
- takes part in the drafting of implementation reports of the relevant international conventions;
- overviews and evaluates the implementation in Hungary of such international conventions.