György Schöpflin, historian, a former Member of the European Parliament was celebrated by his friends and colleagues in an online roundtable discussion. At the joint event of the Institute of Advanced Studies Kőszeg (FTI-iASK) and the Ludovika – University of Public Service, among others, Ferenc Hörcher, Director of the Research Institute for Politics and Government welcomed the 80-year-old politician, who was also greeted with a volume of studies by his colleagues.
Katalin Bogyay, the 15th Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations, who maintains decades of friendship with György Schöpflin, said: although he has lived abroad since his childhood, he is one of those who can teach important things to Hungarian society. "He can express the Central European existence like no other" said of him Zsolt Nemeth, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. At the event, researcher Izabella Agárdi presented and analysed the commemorative volume "Navigating Troubled Waters ". The contributors of the volume pointed out that the publication illustrated, at the same time, György Schöpflin's interest in multi-directional research, his network of contacts built up over the years, and the decades of his dedicated research in the service of science. The essays in the book, on the one hand, deal with the present of Central Europe, seek answers to the difficulties arising from the north-south divide and integration, but also address comprehensive, global issues. The authors – Schöpflin's friends and colleagues – are researchers in political science and humanities, economics, social psychology and hydrology, at the same time renowned shapers of political thinking. Ferenc Hörcher, who also contributed to the birth of the volume, stressed the important role of the historian in forming and shaping Hungarian political life and the "high" political culture. The Director of the Research Institute for Politics and Government of Ludovika believes that the personality and work of György Schöpflin have demonstrated an important principle of conservatism: culture makes us different, and that affects politics as well.
György Schöpflin, among others, spoke of the importance of revealing what was behind things, because it was the only way to improve. According to the former Member of the European Parliament events always affect each other, and thanks to the butterfly effect, sooner or later we will all be a part of it. He mentioned Vuhan, the starting point of the pandemic as an example: a year ago only a few people could have shown the Chinese city on the map, but now the whole world knows the place.
György Schöpflin was a member of the European Parliament for 15 years, he’s now the President of the Advisory Board of the Institute of Advanced Studies, and a senior researcher of the Research Institute for Politics and Government of the University of Public Service.