Edited by David Lewis
Chapter 2: The evolution of the Hungarian competition regime: 2 decades ofdynamic change and continuity Mobilis in mobili
In the 2 decades since the fall of the communist regime in 1989–1990, Hungary has developed what many consider one of the more successful ‘new’ competition regimes. Our essay examines factors that contributed to this development, the interdependence between the competition regime and Hungary’s economic development, long considered a success story among emerging market economies, and developments that might threaten the success achieved to date. Our discussion begins with a chronological overview of events that we organise into three periods: the transition years after the fall of the communist regime (approximately 1990–1998); the period during which EU accession emerged as a dominant force (approximately 1999–2004); and the ‘contemporary’ period following EU accession (approximately 2005–2010). Even though each period can be characterised by a particular set of domestic and international events, there are no sharp dividing lines between them: developments overlapped and certain more recent events could not have happened without earlier efforts. The second section takes a more analytical approach and looks at features that have consistently played a prominent role in the Hungarian competition regime, including the enabling environment, the GVH as an institution, and its advocacy and enforcement activities. In this section we also develop our main points about factors that most critically contributed to success: the GVH’s ability to carefully identify the right opportunities – created by both the international and domestic environments – to promote competition policy and enforcement; the openness to learn from good practices developed and applied in other jurisdictions; and continuity in the Hungarian competition regime,
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