The Hungarian government announced that a new independent Ministry of Energy will be established on 1 December under the leadership of Csaba Lantos. Hungary’s former minister for Technology and Industry László Palkovics, who has overseen the energy sector so far resigned ahead of the transfer of the energy portfolio to the new ministry.
Announcing the decision, Hungary’s minister of the Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás highlighted that today the most pressing issues in the world relate to energy, energy security and the price of energy, which is why the Hungarian government decided to set up an independent Ministry that will also oversee climate affairs.
The new Minister is said to assign a greater role to wind energy, which could reduce energy imports thus increasing energy security in line with EU goals, but has been largely overlooked so far in Hungary. The expansion of Hungary’s Paks nuclear power plant will remain within the competencies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Csaba Lantos who will lead the newly established energy ministry started his career at the Creditanstalt Investment Bank, serving in various leadership positions and ultimately as the CEO of the Hungarian Investment Banking Arm (CA-IB). He was a long-time Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Budapest Stock Exchange and the Chairman of the Board of the Central Securities Depository and Clearing House (KELER).
In 2000, he joined OTP Bank as a Member of the Board and Deputy CEO, leading the retail banking arm. Since 2007, he has been undertaking investments in the healthcare and life sciences sectors and in 2010 became a Board Member of Richter Gedeon, the largest pharmaceutical company in Hungary. Mr Lantos has held the position of the Chairman of the Board of Swiss-based European energy company MET Holding since 2009.