Ensemble prediction systems (EPSs) are an essential part of numerical weather prediction for the provision of probabilistic forecast guidance. The Hungarian Meteorological Service has implemented a limited area EPS (called ALADIN HUNEPS) based on the ALADIN mesoscale limited area model coupled to the French global ARPEGE EPS (PEARP). The dynamical downscaling method is assessed in terms of ensemble verification scores taking also into account the recent upgrade of the PEARP global system. The verification results point towards some weaknesses of the ALADIN HUNEPS, mainly with respect to the near-surface parameters. Therefore, some improvements are needed so as to provide better and more reliable ensemble predictions for the Carpathian Basin. The application of near-surface perturbations into the surface data assimilation scheme is implemented and tested. The first results show that the surface perturbation method slightly improves the ALADIN HUNEPS, however, further experiments should be made to find out the optimal settings of the method for definite robust improvements of ALADIN HUNEPS.