The Parliamentary Guard

"Faithfully and honourably we serve"

Following adoption of Act XXXVI of 2012 on the National Assembly, the Parliamentary Guard will form on 1 January 2013, 22 years after the change of regime.

As a result, Hungary's highest representative body, the National Assembly will be able to see to its smooth operation and security independently, in a manner worthy of the centuries-long tradition of the Hungarian parliamentary system.

The formation of the Parliamentary Guard ends the previous practice, which was inconsistent with the democratic state system and constitutional principles, of an armed body supervised or commanded by the executive power (government, interior ministry) guarding the legislature.

The Parliamentary Guard will not only maintain, but also protect and defend the prestige and dignity of Parliament. It will protect individuals and buildings, perform ceremonial and protocollary tasks, and ensure compliance with fire regulations and law-and-order rules, doing so at a high standard with the maximum preparedness and professionalism.

Historical roots

The Parliamentary Guard is an armed body that has noble historical roots. Its predecessor was the Guard of the House of Representatives, which was formed 100 years ago; after taking its oath of service on 28 December 1912, it performed guard duties in Parliament from May 1913 until the end of the Second World War in 1945, during which time it earned the respect of the political sphere, regardless of party affiliations. It played an important role in the history of the Hungarian parliamentary system. The Guard of the House of Representatives operated in a disciplined and highly professional manner, and the Parliamentary Guard that is now being formed is therefore proud to be its successor.

"Faithfully and honourably we serve"

The armed guard of the Hungarian National Assembly is a distinguished, noble task that requires lawfulness and professional competence, as well as the united comradeship of the guards in a moral regard. A solid legal background provides the basis for the special duties of Hungary's newest armed body.

The aim of the Parliamentary Guard is to serve at the highest professional level to the satisfaction of the Members of Parliament and the staff of the National Assembly, and to gain society's respect and admiration as a strong, effective and professional organisation.

The mission of the Parliamentary Guard is to protect the Speaker of the House, Parliament, the buildings serving the staff of the National Assembly, and those working there by means of a professional, committed staff and use of state-of-the-art technical equipment in a politically independent manner, always bearing in mind the chosen motto: "SERVIMUS FIDELITER, HONESTE", FAITHFULLY AND HONOURABLY WE SERVE.

Duties of the Parliamentary Guard

Pursuant to the provisions of Act XXXVI of 2012, the Parliamentary Guard

a) shall protect the person of the Speaker of the House,

b) shall protect Parliament, the office building of the National Assembly and the buildings housing the Office of the National Assembly and those present there,

c) shall ensure compliance with the rules concerning entry to and presence in Parliament, the office building of the National Assembly and the buildings housing the Office of the National Assembly,

d) ensures compliance with the fire safety requirements set down in law and prevention and aversion of emergency situations associated with its sphere of activity in Parliament, the office building of the National Assembly and the buildings housing the Office of the National Assembly,

e) shall perform tasks concerning the maintenance of order in Parliament as set out in this Act,

f) shall perform ceremonial protocollary tasks, and

g) shall perform other tasks which it is prescribed to perform by law or which derive from a mandatory legal act of the European Union or an international treaty.

In performing its tasks, the Parliamentary Guard shall cooperate with the police, the national security services, the professional disaster management bodies, the Hungarian Army and the local governments.

The Speaker of the House will command the Parliamentary Guard through the commander appointed by the Speaker of the House. The Speaker of the House may assign certain rights concerning command of the Parliamentary Guard to the first officer of Parliament.

Powers and instruments of the Parliamentary Guard

In addition to the provisions of the Act on the National Assembly, the laws on the law enforcement bodies (laws on the police and the Hungarian Army) shall apply to the Parliamentary Guard. Its members are also obliged to strictly comply with the applicable rules of law concerning the use of weapons, and swear an oath to do so. The appointed guards have passed an examination authorizing them to carry and use weapons. In performing their duties to maintain order in Parliament, the members of the Parliamentary Guard may only use physical force as a coercive measure.

Since the guards have been selected from the staff of the police force, their general training allows them to use physical force including the use of handcuffs, truncheons and weapons. All members of the Parliamentary Guard had to pass the annual physical and psychological assessment used by the Police.

The guards

The Parliamentary Guard can and wishes to perform its tasks set down in law through members who identify with democratic values, respect the law and are loyal to the Parliamentary Guard and identify with its values. Their professional work and moral values shall strengthen internal unity, and their impeccable conduct shall contribute to establishing and maintaining the positive reputation of the Parliamentary Guard and building trust in the organisation.

The Parliamentary Guard has 349 members.

The guards were selected by means of an application process. A total of 1,186 applications were received. The majority of the members of the Parliamentary Guard previously performed guard duties for the Dignitary Protection Service and then the Riot Police, while fire protection tasks were performed within the framework of the National Directorate General for Disaster Management.

Uniform of the Parliamentary Guard

The statutory requirement that the uniforms of other armed bodies should be clearly distinguishable played an important role in the design of the new uniform. Attention was paid to the need to create a comfortable and secure uniform for the performance of guard duties. The members of the Parliamentary Guard will wear a modern uniform that satisfies the requirements of the current day, while also following historical traditions in its adornments, and will strengthen the prestige and dignity of Parliament.

The members of the Parliamentary Guard have two types of uniform:

The first is the service uniform.

Guard duties are performed in this uniform. The guards wear lined, waterproof clothing for winter, while there is a lighter model for summer.

The colour of the upper garments is bottle-green. Claret-coloured piping features on both the trousers and the upper garments.

The second is the society uniform.

The jacket is buttoned to the neck and the collar-patch bears the insignia of rank.

The wearing of gold-coloured epaulettes has historical traditions.
 
For men, the shape of the babmérő military cap follows Hungarian traditions.

The uniform is decorated with gold-coloured buttons depicting the Holy Crown of Hungary. The trousers are black with claret-coloured piping for both uniforms.

The materials used are state of the art. The uniform consists of different boots for summer and winter. The uniform is also comprised of a multi-purpose raincoat, which is waterproof, but air-permeable and allows for four layers of clothing to be worn beneath it.

The identification pass and badge of the Parliamentary Guard are also unique in design. The numbered badge must be worn on the service uniform.

Financial management and costs of the Parliamentary Guard

The Parliamentary Guard is an independently operating body financed by the central budget. The Office of the National Assembly is responsible for its financial management. The Parliamentary Guard is a separate entry in the budgetary chapter of the National Assembly.