Introduction

 

The Hungarian National Contact Point is the responsible for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in Hungary.

The OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (the Guidelines) are part of the OECD Declaration on International Investment and Multinational Enterprises, which provides a comprehensive and widely accepted summary of the requirements for responsible business conduct (RBC) helping market participants to meet these requirements. First version of the document was issued in 1976 and since then has been amended several times, most recently in 2011, in the light of experiences and emerging needs. Over the years, work on the Guidelines has become one of the OECD’s flagship initiatives.

By November 2020, in addition to the 37 OECD member states, the governments of 12 other countries (Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Croatia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Peru, Romania, Tunisia and Ukraine) has joined the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The last country to join in 2021 was Bulgaria.

At present, the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are the most comprehensive set of recommendations on RBC, endorsed by governments who seek to encourage and reinforce positive impact that multinational enterprises can have on sustainable development and on lasting social progress. Eleven chapters of the Guidelines cover all major areas of business ethics[1], including those not covered by other instruments dealing with responsible business conduct. However, in areas where it is possible to build on generally accepted international instruments, the OECD Guidelines incorporate the main guidelines of these instruments and provide a conflict resolution mechanism (grievance mechanism) to support their enforcement.

Hungary formally became a member of the OECD in 1996, but already joined the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises in 1994. The HNCP started operating at the economic department in 2000 and is currently operating under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance. The Hungarian National Contact Point (HNCP) was established by the Government Decree 245/2017 (VIII.29) on the publication of the amended Council Decision C(2000)96/FINAL of 25 May 2011 on the Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and on the establishment of National Contact Point based on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Composition of the HNCP is designed to provide professional competences needed to address the wide range of issues covered by the Guidelines. Accordingly, government officials employed by the central state administration body were delegated as members of the HNCP. Head of the HNCP is Mr. László Balogh, Deputy State Secretary for Financial Policy Affairs, and his secretariat services are provided by the Strategic Department of EU Affairs.

 

[1] Human rights, labour rights, environment, bribery, consumer interests, as well as information disclosure, science and technology, competition, and taxation.