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By the end of 2022, municipalities in Hungary were facing a crisis beyond compare, resulting from the persistent rise in energy prices, the prolonged inflation, and the international market uncertainties caused by the Russian aggression. From one month to the next, Hungarian municipalities encountered seemingly unmanageable extra costs, which not only put their budgets at risk, but also the provision of the most basic public services for which they were responsible. As the situation has influenced everyone, irrespective of their worldview or party affiliation, it has become clear that finding a solution would also require broad cooperation and joint professional work, free of political interests.

Seeing the potential in further cooperation, the Equilibrium Institute has decided to continue working with municipalities in the field of energy. Between autumn 2023 and spring 2024, the Institute visited 15 locations across the country to discuss key energy challenges with decision-makers from local and surrounding municipalities. On the one hand, the think tank has developed a proposal package titled How should we increase the energy security of Hungarian municipalities, which was discussed with local decision-makers at each location. On the other hand, the Equilibrium Institute invited external experts with extensive practical experience to propose concrete solutions for municipalities to reduce energy use and to shift away from fossil fuels.

The aim of the Equilibrium Institute is to help municipalities in tackling the most pressing problems related to this crisis with concrete, tangible policy proposals, which pave the way towards the long-term resilience of municipalities.

The full policy paper is available here.