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.
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.
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.”