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Issue histories

The first step of the research was to compile detailed chronological listings of policy developments in each country in the time period covered by the project. This step followed the methodology of policy process analysis (Sutton 1999): the main aim was to trace when and how issues appeared on the political agenda, who has contributed to the debate and what documents were produced.


Upon the initiative of two socialist MPs, a Parliamentary decision is adopted calling for the government to draw up an action plan on the problem of infertility. As a result of this amendments to the Health Act are being debated in the Parliament. The Government proposes to extend the circle of people who are allowed to donate ovum unanonymously. Following the pressure of the NGO TASZ a liberal MP proposes an amendment to open artificial insemination to single women. Unlike the NGOs proposal that would have opened artificial insemination to all single women, the amendment accepted limits this possibility to infertile or ageing single women. Women living in a same sex partnership cannot participate in artificial insemination even if infertile or ageing, unless they deny their partners. The Parliamentary Commissioner for Civil Rights criticises the legislation on the donation of ova by arguing that enabling donation by domestic partners opens up the possibility of donating for profit. Conservative MPs make the same argument, adding that allowing artificial insemination to single women is problematic, as it might lead to same sex couples raising children. Despite the earlier promises, the question of surrogacy is not put on the agenda.

Primary sources:

  • H/16056. sz. országgyőlési határozat a meddıséggel kapcsolatos problémák átfogó kezelésére vonatkozó intézkedési terv kialakítására, elfogadva: 2005. június 27. [H/16056 parliamentary decision on the adoption of an action plan to tackle the problems of infertility, adopted: 27 June 2005]
  • TASZ 26. számú álláspontja az egyes egészségügyi tárgyú törvények módosításáról szóló T/18093. számú törvényjavaslat kapcsán, 2005. november [Opinion no. 26 of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union concerning bill no. T/18093 amending laws concerning health care, November 2005]
  • 2005. évi CLXXXI. törvény egyes egészségügyi tárgyú törvények módosításáról, törvényjavaslat száma: T/18093 [Act CLXXXI of 2005 amending legislation related to health care, bill no. T/18093]
  • Protocols of the Plenary Sessions of the Hungarian Parliament on 23 November, 6 December, 2005 on the bill T/18093
  • Protocols of the Meetings of the Hungarian Parliament’s Human Rights and Health Committees on 14, 16 November, 12 December 2005
  • Az állampolgári jogok országgyőlési biztosának GY-598/2005. sz. véleménye [Opinion GY-598/2005 of the parliamentary commissioner for civil rights]

Secondary sources:

  • Anonim ajándékozás. Adományozható lehet a petesejt, HVG, 2004. december 3. [Anonymous donation. Ova might become donatable, HVG 3 December 2004] Lombikprogram: meddı szingliknek már igen, origo.hu, 2006. július 20. [Artificial insemination: yes for infertile singles, origo.hu, 20 July 2006]
  • Gyermektelenségre ítélve - Dajkaterhesség: miért nem lehet? Magyar Narancs, 2005. augusztus 18. [Doomed to childlessness. Surrogacy: why not? Magyar Narancs, 18 August 2005]

Extract from an Issue history describing a policy moment (Hungary)

The types of documents collected includes bills, laws, policy plans, policy reports, party programmes, parliamentary debates, court decisions, consultation papers, position papers, as well as official letters and statements. To complement these primary sources, further information about policy developments (such as media coverage, published interviews with actors involved) were also collected.


  • Commission for Women’s Policy
  • Commission for Equal Opportunities Policy
  • Expert Council on dealing with violence against women
  • Council of Government for the Implementation of the Principle of Equal Treatment
  • Office for Women’s Policy / Office For Equal Opportunities
  • Human Rights Ombudsman
  • Interdepartmental working group for combating human trafficking
  • Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs
  • Ministry of the Interior


  • District court Ljubljana

Civil Society

  • Association SOS Help Line
  • Women’s Counselling Service
  • Association against violent communication
  • Women’s Centre Metelkova
  • Peace Institute
  • Association Vita activa
  • Association Ključ – Against trafficking in human beings

Extract from an Issue history describing relevant actors (Slovenia)

Besides a chronological list of documents researchers were asked to provide short summaries of the key points of each policy moments. Issue histories thus provided a systematic overview of the policy developments in each country, a list of actors that participated in policy formulation, as well as a rich collection of policy documents to analyse.


Issue histories for each country can be downloaded from the research results section.