EU accession in 2004 has confirmed Hungary’s successful transformation from a centrally planned economy into a functioning market economy operating within the framework of a multi-party democracy. However, the country’s output per capita is still well below the EU average, and public expenditures exceed revenues by a large margin. This report looks at ongoing efforts to restore fiscal balance and promote sustainable growth to accelerate the convergence process. Drawing on the experience of OECD member countries it proposes structural reforms to achieve these objectives, covering the following topics:
• Fiscal policy: Deficit reduction and making taxes and expenditures more growth friendly.
• Health care reform: Improving efficiency and quality of care.
• Pension reform: Providing old-age income security in the face of population ageing.
• Employment and social policies: Making formal employment more attractive.
• Education reform: Improving human capital formation.
• SME promotion: Increasing competitiveness and fostering successful entrepreneurship.
• Innovation: Fostering rapid productivity growth.
• Energy policy and the environment: Responding to the threat of climate change.
• Public administration reform: Improving the performance of the public sector.
• E-government: Using technical progress to improve public service delivery.
An overview chapter synthesises the findings, highlighting the interdependence of policy actions in the various areas.