“The Hungarian National Assembly founds a university that can serve as an iconic institution for future generations serving, loving and protecting their country, and also for those who are dedicated for the public good. It is going to be an academy of public services.” – said Tibor Navracsics in his ministerial speech inside the Parliament back in March, 2011. It was when representatives passed the law on the foundation of the National University of Public Service that resulted in the University starting its operation on the 1st of January, 2012. In the past five years, and with the effective support of the Governing Board, the institution has produced great results on its way to becoming a university of public service and political sciences.
In 2012 the National University of Public Service started out with 3 faculties, and three inter-faculty institutions, but due to the continuous and conscious institutional development, it has gained various other branches too. Next to the Faculties of Military Sciences and Officer Training, Law Enforcement, and Political Sciences and Public Administration the Faculty of International and European Studies was also established in February, 2015. The list of existing inter-faculty institutions (Institute of Executive Training and Continuing Education, Institute of Disaster Management, Institute of National Security) expended too, when in 2014 the predecessor of current The Institute for Research and Development on State and Governance was established. It is due to all these structural developments that the research portfolio of the University expends continuously, more and more academic programs, trainings and other academic opportunities await current and future students alike. One of these is, for example, the new Governance Master Program launched next year, which awards a doctoral degree following the completion of the program and it is also one of the more complex programs offered by NUPS currently. The institution’s public service training system has also been greatly modernised and expanded. Apart from the compulsory training of state officials, further education courses organised by the institute can be studied and thanks to e-learning and distance learning technologies, they have become increasingly available for public servants.
Next to the field of education, great changes were also made in the field of academia in the recent years. Following the two doctoral school in the beginning (Doctoral School of Military Sciences and Doctoral School of Military Engineering) the Doctoral School of Public Administration Sciences started operation in 2013, and the Doctoral School of Police Sciences and Law Enforcement was established in 2015. Academic and research work at the University is aided by various organisations such as the College of Mentors, which is consists of experts. All the expanding roles and tasks require new, modern infrastructure too. With governmental support and in accordance with state aims, the supporting infrastructure was greatly developed. The first stage of this process was the refurbishment of the main building at Ludovika Campus, which was concluded in 2014. This was followed by the construction of a 600 bed dormitory building, and students could occupy this in the fall of 2015. Furthermore, the development is still going on: currently the special training centre and dormitory of the Faculty of Law Enforcement, a new educational building, a shooting range, and a swimming hall are all under construction. These developments allow that both the Faculty of Law Enforcement and the Faculty of Political Sciences and Public Administration start the new semester in September at the Ludovika Campus. The greatest project following this is going to be the movement of the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training and the Institute of Disaster Management to the Ludovika Campus, and government decision has already arranged these.
“I am convinced that we can only talk about integration, when all four faculties of the university are working at the same location. Cultures, values, scientists, departments, and lecturers can all only influence each other if they are all moved to the same location.” – stated Prof. Dr. András Patyi in the September 2016 issue of Bonum Publicum magazine. The rector of NUPS – who started this latest, three year long tenure on the 5th birthday of NUPS – believes that NUPS is considered, in the broadest sense, Hungary’s “university of political sciences” and it is also a colourful community with a complex past, and a university of values too.
The Advisory Board on the establishment of the Human Rights and Identity Politics MA held its meeting on 9 December at the National University of Public Service to evaluate the proposed course plan of the of the programme and to share best practices regarding international double joint degree programmes.
Dr. Gudmundur Alfredsson, professor of the University of Akureyri and China University of Political Science and Law, Prof. Dr. Joshua Castellino, Dean of the Middlesex University, Prof. Dr. Stefano Bianchini, professor of the Political Science University of Bologna and Dr. Kinga Gál, member of the European People’s Party as members of the Board shared their opinion with the representatives of NUPS and the Tom Lantos Institute.
The proposed master programme is supported by the Hungarian government as well as the international community. The necessity of such a programme has been recognised at all levels, as being unique in the region, thus the government has entrusted the University with the establishment of the programme in a government decree. In the elaboration of the master degree programme NUPS will cooperate with the Tom Lantos Institute based on the existing relation and successful cooperation of the previous years. The institutions have been working together in issues related to minority and human rights, the most significant achievement of which is the Global Minority Rights Summer School, organised in cooperation with the Middlesex University as well. The summer school was organised for the fourth time in 2016.
Besides the support of the Hungarian government, international experts has also agreed on the importance of the proposed MA programme as there is no similar course available in the region. TLI also got a positive feedback from the UN Minority Forum, which encourages the establishment of the programme even better. Based on the previous preparations the Hungarian language programme is planned to be launched within two years.
According to the Advisory Board, the current plans and drafts are promising, therefore the MA course will be a good basis for further cooperation with the Middlesex University as the long term aim is to establish a double degree programme. As a preparation, the participating international experts shared their respective institutions’ best practices in establishing and financing such programmes, with regard to scholarship opportunities and experiences regarding international cooperation.
Currently a memorandum of understanding between the Tom Lantos Institute and NUPS about the cooperation in establishing the Hungarian MA programme is under signature, furthermore the next meeting of the Advisory Board was also scheduled to next spring.
Hannes Hanso, President of the National Defence Committee of the Parliament of Estonia held a lecture on the security situation in Central and Eastern Europe at the Ludovika Campus on the 9th of December, 2016. In his visit to the University, the former Estonian Minister of Defence was among others also accompanied by Rein Oidekivi, Estonian ambassador to Austria.
The lecture of Mr. Hanso was introduced by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szenes (ret.) general and university professor at the Faculty of International and European Studies, who briefly described the academic achievements of the guest as well as his work in the field of public service. Hannes Hanso, who had studied both in China and in the United Kingdom, has considerable public service experience, including previously serving as President of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Parliament of Estonia and as Estonian Minister of Defence.
In his lecture, Mr. Hanso reminded the audience that the main pillars of Estonian security are NATO and the EU. He stressed, that although there are currently six political parties in his country (3 are part of the government, and 3 in opposition) there are no differences between them in the question of defence policy. As far as the international aspect of his lecture was concerned, he highlighted that recently there have been events that nobody had expected before (such as the British exit from the European Union) or events that could have great consequences on NATO on their own (for example, events in Turkey, or the 2016 American presidential election). Furthermore, he also underlined how much the European Union’s view of the international security environment has changed since the publication of its security strategy in 2003.
His speech focused on the Russian threat in the Baltics and NATO’s response to it. Regarding the former, he pointed to the fact that the Russian leadership has miscalculated itself with its conduct, has alienated its neighbours and turned Ukraine towards the West. He also added that the Ukrainian crisis triggered effects which were unimaginable a few years ago, such as the United States strengthening its military presence in Europe or that there is a public debate in Sweden about joining NATO.
In relation to NATO strengthening its eastern members, he highlighted that it took only 11 months to deploy allied Western European soldiers to Estonia following the decision to do so, which is a strong message towards Moscow and shows the relevance of NATO. He also added that member states should not rely solely on mutual defence based on Article 5 of the Treaty but should also consider Article 3. Thus they should be prepared to defend themselves as well. He reminded that national defence has costs and that in Estonia, there is an honest discourse about this between politicians and the public.
Finally, Mr. Hanso thanked Hungary – together with the other Visegrad states – for sending soldiers to the Baltics.
The aim of the seminar was to gain a more detailed picture and thorough understanding of German foreign and security policy in the European dimension, with a special emphasis on Central Europe. At the seminar the experts have touched upon topics like Germany’s possibly changing role in NATO and EU security policy, crisis management in Ukraine and on German – Hungarian relations. The participants have emphasized that while we see the increasing economic and political role of Berlin in Europe, and the necessity of comprehensive reforms in the European Union, in order to become a leader of Europe, Germany needs to adopt a truly global visions and detailed strategies that can mobilize the support of European nations.
Dr. Péter Tálas, the director of CSDS has identified the added value of the seminar as the following: “The opportunity of being able to discuss Hungary’s and Central European countries’ bi- and multilateral relationship with Germany in a seminar with experts of the field can serve as a bridge for their views and helps to go beyond the aspects often represented in media as conflicting ones. At events where representatives from the Hungarian Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade can join the discussions, pragmatic and solution-centric proposals can be more easily assembled.”
Having started with Gen. (ret.) Zoltán Szenes, former Chief of Defense of the Hungarian Defense Forces’ welcoming remarks on the event, the experts have discussed their views of security challenges that Central European countries face and their subjective threat perceptions in three panels and a roundtable discussion. Such challenges can be accounted for Russia’s resurgent great power stance, long-term effects of the economic crisis, as well as the direct and indirect challenge of mass migration flows and the increased potential of terrorism.
Tamás Csiki, the coordinator of the workshop has highlighted the following: “Having seen the perceived threats and challenges, we were looking for areas along which the states of the region are willing to align their foreign policies. Such an exchange of opinions can serve as an orientation point for Hungarian foreign and security policy – CSDS works on playing a role in this.”
In the fourth year of the workshop series, the current event, funded in the KÖFOP-2.1.2-VEKOP-15--2016-00001 „Public Service Development Establishing Good Governance” project framework, hosted experts from various think tanks specializing in foreign and security policy, from Austria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.
This year’s last Ambassadors’ Forum at Ludovika welcomed H.E Mr. Rahul Chhabra, Indian Ambassador to Hungary as a special guest. His Excellency has a graduate degree in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics and Masters in Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Calcutta, where he was placed on the Roll of Honour. In the past, he served as Director for External Publicity at the Ministry of External Affairs and Director in the Foreign Secretary’s Office and also served in China, the United States, France, Belgium, Senegal, and the Philippines.
Moderated by Dr. János Bóka, Vice-Dean for Education of Faculty of International and European Studies, the Forum took place with the presence of the experts, Dr. Imre Lázár Head of Department at the Ministry of Human Capacities and Jári Ferenc, Head of Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary.
In his opening speech Mr. Chhabra gave a broad introduction about India including geographical, economic, cultural and many other aspects, as well as about Hungarian-Indian relations. The Ambassador presented his country’s geographical dimensions, also in comparison with Europe. He talked about the population density, the fact, that India is in possession of the 1/5 of the world’s water supply, and most of all, the unique Mars mission, the country was the first to launch. Challenges India currently faces, like the extreme poverty, the health care system and the improvement of the educational system were also mentioned.
The historical overview of the Hungarian-Indian relations corroborate that the countries sustain a strong relationship, India has been in the top 3 investors in Hungary for years. Tourism is significant, the Indian culture is very popular in Hungary, and furthermore Hungary supports the Indian aspiration to be a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Mr. Chhabra mentioned the Stipendium Hungaricum scholarship programme that provides opportunity for 200 Indian students or practicing professionals to pursue studies in Hungary.
The experts analysed the role and position of India in global politics, but the highlight of the event was the cultural programme organized by the Embassy. The first artist was Pandit Rajesh Gangani, a „tabla” performer, a classic Indian music on percussion instruments. He was followed by Saumya Shukla, presenting a north Indian folk dance, the „kathak.” The cultural event was completed by a photo exhibition of the artist Bijoy Mishra, presenting his work on India.
A delegation from the RANEPA (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration) from Saint Petersburg visited NUPS to conduct meetings with leaders and professors of the university during their 3-day-long programme. Members of the delegation met with Prof. Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs of NUPS, with Dr. Zsuzsanna Peres, Vice-Dean for Science and International Affairs at the Faculty of Political Sciences and Public Administration as well as Prof. Dr. Iván Halász and Prof. Dr. István Tózsa heads of institute.
The Russian Academy was represented by Sergey Tsypliaev, Dean of the Law Faculty, Evgenia Chernyavskaya, Deputy Head of the Department of International Relations, Alexey Balashov, Head of the educational profile “Public administration”, as well as Anna Smirnova and Jaroslav Antonov associate professors.
The comprehensive programme started on Tuesday with a workshop during which the participants discussed the constitutional questions of Central Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The afternoon meetings focused on future research cooperation and resulted in specific aims both parties agreed to. One of the cornerstones of the joint research cooperation is the Good State and Governance Report prepared by NUPS and presented to the guests by Vice-Rector Norbert Kis. The research methodology of the report could serve as the base of a joint research platform. According to the plans, a research group is to be established based on the work NUPS has done in this segment. A further aim is to conduct research on public efficiency at regional and local levels, an area that is new to both institutions, thus the development of joint research results is intended. In addition to the establishment of a joint research group, person-to-person research projects are also encouraged by the parties. Furthermore, RANEPA was also invited to participate at the Good State and Governance Report conference to be held in spring 2017 in the organisation of NUPS. During the next two years the PADOP project provides the adequate funding for joint research projects, however the aim is to develop joint projects for a long-term cooperation.
Cooperation in the field of education was the main topic of discussion during the second day of the meetings. Establishing a double degree programme is the common interest of both institutions, in which the Public Administration MA and the MA in International Public Service Relations degree programmes of NUPS and the respective programmes of RANEPA, among other their programme in Global Politics, can serve as the basis of cooperation. As the establishment of a dual degree programme is a time-consuming process, student and staff exchange programmes will be the start of cooperation. Within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme mobility programmes can start from the next academic year that can also contribute to the exchange of lecturers and researchers, thus facilitating research cooperation.
Prof. Dr. Norbert Kis highlighted the fact that cooperation with Russian institutions is a top priority for NUPS, both in the field of education and research. Importance of Russian relations is reflected in the intention of NUPS to establish an institute dealing with Eurasia by spring 2017 at the Faculty of International and European Studies.
Dr. Péter Tálas, the director of CSDS, summarized the purpose of the meeting as the following: “We are preparing a complex research project focusing on the Central European region which will contribute to the work of the Hungarian Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, as well as the Prime Minister’s Office. Understanding the drivers of foreign and security policy in our region is not only Hungary’s fundamental interest for acquiring a deeper insight of its environment but also a tool for more effective cooperation by which shared interests can be identified and conflicts of interest can be more easily resolved. Albeit we live in a ‘common integration space’, there are several questions, to which the answers may differ from country to country, for instance, the relationship with Russia or our stand regarding European migration policy. Having a profound understanding of the differences in our perceptions is essential when it comes to making policies – therefore our planned research will target that.”
The aim of the meeting was to discuss elements of research cooperation in assembling and publishing comparative country- and policy-specific studies regarding ten Central European countries in the course of the next two years. Having discussed the theoretical framework, focal points and structure and the format of the papers, the experts shared their ideas which have contributed to a productive meeting.
The Budapest Water Summit 2016 concluded its deliberations on November 30. Some 2000 participants from 111 countries attended this mile stone event that was to charter the road ahead for the coming fifteen years with respect to the implementation of the water-related Sustainable Development Goals. NUPS professor András Szöllősi-Nagy, co-chair of the International Programme Committee, lead the work of the Drafting Group. Messrs Gábor Baranyai and Balázs Heincz, of NUPS, contributed to the Summit as moderators and Secretary of the Drafting Group, respectively. As a result of an open internet based discussion, that was also accessible to the larger public, a consensus emerged that is summarized in the document Budapest Water Summit 2016 - Massages - Water Connects - Actions for the 2030 Agenda
A delegation from the RANEPA University of Saint Petersburg has arrived to NUPS to conduct meetings with the leaders and professors of NUPS during their 3-day-long programme.
On the 6th of December, Prof. Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs greeted the delegation and opened the first workshop in the topic: “The constitutional trends in Central Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States”.
The series of meetings will continue with discussions about possible fields of research cooperation and joint educational projects.
The results of the American presidential elections of November was the main topic of the event “How the White House was won” held on the 1st of December at Ludovika. The roundtable discussion in the organisation of the Antall József Knowledge Centre featured experts such as Jeffrey D. Gordon former Pentagon spokesman, Elizabeth Wahl journalist, Michael Weiss senior editor at The Daily Beast and Zsolt Németh chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee.
Dr. János Bóka, vice-dean of the Faculty of International and European Studies, as the moderator of the event highlighted the fact that the elections reflected the fragmentation of the American society, while this major political event also forecasts the politics of the next US government.
The experts of the discussion agreed that the victory of Donald J. Trump came as a surprise. According to Elisabeth Wahl, very few had expected the victory of Trump and the public surveys were completely misleading, therefore the result was shocking for most of the people. The journalist also highlighted the two major faults of mainstream media: first of all, too much emphasis was laid on Trump, while the exact problems of the voters living in different districts didn’t get enough attention.
The invited guests mentioned the staggering statements, such as the one of Donald J. Trump about Muslims. Mr Gordon emphasised that the further spreading of radical Islam as an ideology should be prevented and according to his analysis Trump is aware of this.
Another conclusion of the discussion was that “security” will be more explicitly present in the foreign politics of the USA. According to Zsolt Németh, the Trump administration will select more carefully in which cases they will intervene or not. The situation of Ukraine was also analysed, Mr Gordon argued that Europe should play a more active role in this issue, which would also be expected by Trump. Zsolt Németh added that European countries can’t continue to live in the shadows of America enjoying its protection.
Besides Ukraine, politics towards Russia were another key point of the discussions. As the former spokesman of the Pentagon said, Trump will conduct international affairs in a strict manner, demanding more respect. However, Ms Wahl reflected that Trump didn’t addressed Mr Putin directly with this message. As one of the final conclusions, Mr Németh noted that the main question is whether the Trump administration will find the adequate way of political dialogue.
As a side event of the Water Summit held between 28-30 November in Budapest, a seminar dealing with transboundary water dispute prevention and settlement in Europe was organised at the National University of Public Service on the 1st of December.
The event was jointly organised by the Implementation Committee of the Water Convention adopted in 1992 in Helsinki and the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies of the National University of Public Service (NUPS). The seminar included the presentations of the chair and other members of the Committee, as well as panel discussions involving all the participants.
The seminar was moderated by Mr Balázs HEINCZ, water coordinator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose introduction was followed by the speeches of Prof. Attila TANZI, Chair of the Implementation Committee, Prof. Stephen MCCAFFREY, former special rapporteur of the UN International Law Commission and Mr. Gábor BARANYAI, director of the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies of NUPS. Their presentations discussed the nature of transboundary water conflicts, lessons of inter-state water dispute settlement in the United States and beyond along with water disputes in the EU.
The Implementation Committee was established in the framework of the Water Convention adopted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe with the aim of facilitating, promoting and ensuring the implementation of the Convention.
The seminar was closely connected to the Water Summit that was attended by nearly 1800 participants from 117 countries, during which NUPS was also represented. During the three days of the conference heads of states and governments, ministers, high-level representatives of international organisations as well as actors of the private sector, civil society and scientific life discussed issues related to water, sanitation and sustainable water management.
Up until the early nineties, the Federal Republic of Nigeria was one of the outstanding political and economic partners of Hungary whose joint cooperation inter alia focused on issues of water resources. The bilateral relations began to intensify again two years ago, with the partners viewing education as the primary area of cooperation.
The memorandum of understanding between the Federal Ministry of Water Resources of Nigeria and the National University of Public Service will likely lead to Nigerian participation in the university’s international water resources management MA programme which is currently under preparation. The programme is developed by the Sustainable Development Studies Cabinet of NUPS lead by dr. Gábor Baranyai and joined by Prof. Dr. András Szöllősi-Nagy, Director of the Division of Water and Secretary of the International Hydrological Programme of UNESCO. Planned to be launched next autumn, the programme would fill in a niche at a global level, providing up-to-date knowledge on the hydrological, international law, institutional and public administration aspects and bases of international water resources management to current and future professionals in public administration. Signed for three years, the memorandum of understanding is expected to advance the university’s appearance on the international education market and the training of next generation Hungarian water management experts.
During the signing ceremony, Prof. Dr. András Patyi expressed the honour and pleasure of welcoming the honourable Minister of Water Resources from Nigeria. The rector reminded that NUPS is an open university having more than 100 international partner institutions. Nevertheless, he also mentioned that this is the first time NUPS signs a memorandum of understanding with another country’s ministry. Furthermore, Professor Patyi highlighted the Sustainable Development Studies Cabinet of NUPS, including its important role in the research and education of water governance. Regarding the signed memorandum of understanding, he emphasized his conviction that the document opens a new chapter in Hungarian-Nigerian relations within water resources education.
The honourable Minister Suleiman H. Adamu said that the memorandum of understanding opens a wide range of opportunities for cooperation between the two parties, and that in this regard the main research and education partner of NUPS could be the National Water Resources Institute. He indicated that as a developing country the Federal Republic of Nigeria is looking forward to Hungary’s best practices inter alia in the field of water supply, water quality and hydrology.
Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs Prof. Dr. Norbert Kis reminded that African countries have been receiving increasing focus in our efforts of establishing international relations, and that this trend is in line with the foreign policy of the Hungarian Government. The Vice-Rector also added that in the last couple of years NUPS welcomed study groups from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, including representatives from the National Defence College and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies.
The 1st meeting of the European regional group of the Harvard Adaptive Leadership Alumni Network held its first meeting between 25-27 November 2016, to which the National University of Public Service, as the sponsor of the event, provided the venue. The European network considers this event a launch of a series of meetings organized on a yearly basis.
A high-ranking Sudanese delegation led by Gen Yahia Mohammed Khair (Deputy Chief of Defence, North Sudan) visited the Faculty of Military Sciences and Officer Training to get a comprehensive overview on military education and training system. H. E. Adil Bashir Hassan the Sudanese Ambassador to Hungary also participated the one-day programme.
Col. Boldizsár Gábor PhD, dean of the Faculty briefed the guests in NUPS related issues focusing on military education and training. He emphasized the renewed efforts to build a prestigious state university. He underlined the commitment of NUPS in the international sphere in offering programmes and courses to international students. He also talked about the newly adopted PhD system extending the duration of PhD programmes from 6 to 8 semesters.
Col. Peter Balogh gave a short overlook on the Senior Military Officer education as the highest level national military training in Hungary. The delegation was interested in how North Sudan could join Faculty’s education and training events with a special emphasis on the recently accredited Senior Military Leader postgraduate programme (formerly known as General Staff Training Course). H.E. Adil Bashir Hassan expressed his wish to meet Prof. Dr. András Patyi the rector of NUPS to discuss the possibilities of extending bilateral cooperation by signing a memorandum of understanding in the near future.
While in Hungary, the delegation also visited Hungarian Defence Forces’ compounds to get to know of Hungarian industry developments such as UAV (Un-manned Aerial Vehicle), Water Purification, Bio Labor, Ground Moving Target Spotting Radar etc.
Dr. János Bóka, Vice-Dean for Education at the Faculty of International and European Studies opened the latest event of the Ambassadors' Forum at Ludovika with this renowned quote from German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Special guest of the current event was His Excellency Vladimir Sergeev, Ambassador of the Russian Federation accredited to Hungary. The invited experts, Anton Bendarzsevszkij, director of Pallas Athene Geopolitical Foundation, and András Rácz, Senior Research Fellow of the Finnish Institute of International Affairs also shared their thoughts on the themes highlighted by the ambassador.
Following the introductory of Mr Bóka, His Excellency presented a thematically structured speech focusing on the bilateral relations of Russia and Hungary, the Ukrainian situation, the global fight against terrorism concerning Syria and Iraq, as well as Russia's relations with the United States, the European Union, and NATO.
The conclusions regarding the Russian-Hungarian relations were that despite the fact that there was a 50% decline in trade between the two countries in the past two years, high-level visits in 2015 and 2016 as well as rich cultural relations are proofs of a complex and fruitful cooperation. His Excellency also stated that there is still a substantial potential for further development concerning economic and trade relations. As it was mentioned, cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, e.g. developments in Paks nuclear power plant, is of high importance, as well as regional cooperation. As Vladimir Sergeev explained there is a comprehensive and open foreign policy dialogue between the countries and even though there are issues with disagreements, the two states have a similar approach to most important questions.
The situation in Ukraine, the status of Crimea and the Donetsk Oblast region as well as the global fight against terrorism were topics of great interest among the participating analysts at the panel discussion. The abovementioned topics were discussed from different points of view, the action of NATO and the EU were also discussed from Russia’s viewpoint that differs from that of western countries.
The active discussion that developed among the ambassador and experts along with the activity of the audience clearly shows that the role of Russia as a global super-power in world politics is still followed with great interest as well as the fact that the actions of Russia divide policy makers, experts and public opinion alike.
Among others, participants asked His Excellency on his opinion about the turnout of the US elections, while there were also voices of criticism of Russian’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. Regarding the American president-elect, both the special guest of the event and the experts were cautious to phrase strong statements. His Excellency was positive about Donald Trump’s statements of the US-Russian relations so far while he also noted that promises are one thing and what happens after he becomes a president is another. The experts agreed that foreign policy is a weakness of the president-elect, however it is clear that he will be advised by experienced consultants, thus a significant change cannot be expected, and it I too early for euphoria. As far as the Syrian conflict was concerned, Vladimir Sergeev underlined, that Russia urges a political solution, while the experts have highlighted the fact that despite the promises of the Russian president, military presence hasn’t been diminished but intensified in the region.
All these issues clearly show that Russia is a key player in world politics with a significant influence. The Henry Kissinger quote, cited by the moderator in his welcoming speech, describes the situation perfectly: “Russia should be perceived as an essential element of any new global equilibrium.”
Professor Roloff held a lecture on the European Union as an international security provider to Hungarian and international students at NUPS. Accordingly, his presentation provided insight into the issues of decision-making within the field of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), as well as its Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). Moreover, Professor Roloff headed a seminar on U.S. foreign and security policy where participants could discuss the various aspects of the U.S. presidential elections.
The George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies (GCMC) is a distinguished partner of the National University of Public Service (NUPS). One of the first examples for cooperation between the two institutions was realized in the form the training “Crisis Investigation, Crisis Management, and Peacekeeping at an Advanced Level” held in September 2013 with U.S. and German experts in the subject. Since then NUPS has been welcoming GCMC speakers who share their views and experiences within their respective fields of expertise with students and lecturers of NUPS.
Mr Norbert Kis was leading the establishment of the National University of Public Service as a Ministerial Commissioner in 2011 and now he is a professor and Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs. This year he was awarded the Knight's Cross from the Order of Merit of Hungary. With Mr Norbert Kis we talked about past and future, about political sciences and international relations.
(Summary of the original interview concluded by Ádám Szöőr.)
Five years ago, an interview was published in the Közszolgálat (Public Service) magazine, in which you have expressed future plans about NUPS as a Ministerial Commissioner. Those who are reading that article now might see you as a prophet, since almost all of those plans have been realized. Was it possible to see so clearly into the future back then?
Norbert Kis: At that time the preparation of the University had been going on for almost a year. Thus we could draw up plans that were realistic. Governmental proposals, laws and mid-term development plans were created. The University has performed better than we anticipated 5 years ago and we all should be very proud of this achievement.
NUPS has come along a long development path during this short time and has made progress in all areas. How can you explain this dynamism and efficiency?
Norbert Kis: The Governing Board of the University approved NUPS’ Institutional Development Plan in last October that summarizes the developments and results of the past five years. In my opinion, becoming a professional and social community is the most important. It is the community of lecturers and researches that can create a real university in the long term, not the leadership. I think that institutional interests, working groups, individual ambitions and goals are coming into balance. As part of the current developments, that are partly results of the recently launched KÖFOP operative programme, smaller working groups, research centres and individual creativity are playing a greater role.
As a Vice-Rector you are responsible for two important areas. Regarding international issues, the establishment of the Faculty of International and European Studies can be considered as a significant achievement, which is closely related to the message that the training and education of diplomats will be conducted here in the University. Nevertheless it seems that this determination is less emphasised nowadays in the everyday life of the Faculty and the University.
Norbert Kis: In those public service positions that are closely connected to Hungary’s international and European network there is a need for specific expertise, international experience and language knowledge. All these needs required a greater emphasis on the training of diplomats within curriculum development. In a broader sense there is a connection between this process and the strengthening of the University’s international capacities. During the past few years European and international studies became available within an independent Faculty, while the Academy of Diplomacy programme and the Ludovika Ambassador’s Forum were also launched. We have also started the International Public Service Relations Master Programme in English that deals with certain attributes of diplomacy, as its name suggests. I could also mention any other programme of the Faculty or the English language joint degree program in law enforcement, in which we are also participating. Nobody can expropriate tertiary diplomatic education, however NUPS has become a key player in this field as well.
International relations of the University are constantly expanding, our participation in mobility programmes is also more and more significant, although it is a question whether NUPS is seen as a known and acknowledged University within the international community after five years.
Norbert Kis: We have to see that the predecessors of NUPS did not have strong international embeddedness. It is a time consuming task for a new university to build its presence at an international level, thus being known among international students, lecturers and the scientific community. It is relatively easy to create promotional materials, while building professional and social trust with international partners is a much more difficult and slower process. Internationalization, like many other things, is a communal process, therefore the contribution of each member of the university is important, from lecturers teaching abroad to international students studying at our University. The brand, prestige and international trust towards the University are built up from these numerous individual efforts. If we consider that we have international students from 30 different countries, or if we take a look at our participation in international scholarship programmes, the European and international Erasmus+ programmes, or even the Stipendium Hungaricum programme then we can say that we are the most successful Hungarian University in the student proportional utilization of mobility grants. There are different layers of internationalization, therefore welcoming an increasing number of international students who can spread the University’s reputation is very important. The same applies to our international guest lecturers. It is of our great pleasure that we are more and more frequently invited to partner universities and conferences to participate in joint projects. We still have a lot to improve, however I think that each colleague can be proud of what we have achieved so far.
The Chinese guests received a briefing on the profile and tasks of the Centre for Strategic and Defence Studies, the security related researches at NUPS, followed by an informal discussion on contemporary international security issues. While the hosts outlined the main security issues and correlations concerning Europe, the Chinese delegation reviewed the security situation in Southeast Asia. The guests were particularly interested in the security challenges and risks regarding NATO and Europe, specifically the relationship between NATO and Russia and the migration crisis.
Rear Admiral Li informed the Hungarian participants on the security developments concerning the South China Sea and the Chinese position in this issue. The Rear Admiral specifically mentioned the Chinese military reform initiated last year, the first phase of which (namely, the transformation of high level leadership and control) is already concluded. This year marks the beginning of the troop structure’s reform, which will be followed by the review of the support systems in 2017. Regarding the transformation of the military higher education system, the Chinese leadership would also welcome the Hungarian experiences.
The conference was opened by Dr. Norbert Kis, Vice-Rector for Continuing Education and International Affairs, who highlighted in his address that this event had great significance as far as the university is concerned, because the importance of appropriate regulations of state-owned enterprises. Furthermore, he also underlined that the presentations at the conference were not only useful for students, but contained valuable information for lecturers as well.
Following the opening speech, dr. Gergely Szutrély, chief legal director of MNV Zrt. gave a lecture titled “The State as Owner”, in which he presented the structure of state-owned enterprises in Hungary, the corporate portfolio of MNV Zrt. and drew attention to the significance of transparency. In the following lecture, prof. Martin Winner from the Vienna University of Economics and Business shared his thoughts on the principles of autonomy and independence in regard to state-owned enterprises.
The presentation of Kateřina Eichelerová showed the Czech aspects, while the joined lecture of Kaja Zaleska-Korziuk and Bartłomiej Gliniecki expounded the recent changes in regulation in Poland. Edvardas Juchnevicius showcased the Lithuanian viewpoints on the subject and then the audience could ask questions.
Following a short break, prof. Branislav Malagurski explained the Serbian regulations in regard to some points of the OECD recommendation. Emőd Veress, professor of Sapientia University, presented the role of state in the context of Romanian enterprises. Finally, the local Hungarian aspects of this issue were presented by Dr. Ádám Auer and Prof. Dr. Tekla Papp – who are both lecturers at NUPS – in their joined lecture. After all the speeches, the audience once again received the opportunity to ask their questions, which the presenters were happy to answer.
Text by: Zóra Zsófia Lehoczki