Foreign policy’s new face – interview with former ambassador Károly Banai

We live in a unique environment: Hungary’s image has a direct effect on our wallet. Variations in the exchange rate of the forint (Hungarian currency) can affect our financial situation more than our diligence or career. We interview Károly Banai (former ambassador to the EU and former ambassador to the UN in Vienna) on the Hungarian standpoint in the negotiations with the EU.

The diplomat who served as chief foreign and security policy advisor in the Gyurcsány and in the Bajnai administrations had to face the same destiny as many in the Foreign Ministry after the change of governments: He was dismissed, just like a third of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ staff as Orbán came into power in 2010. Nowadays he works as a business consultant, and he is a founder of the foreign policy chapter of Haza és Haladás Alapítvány (Patriotism and Progress Foundation).
Viktor Orbán stated in a radio interview: it would be blackmail if the EU set political requirements in relation to the IMF-EU loan facility. It is a fact that the EU usually does not set these kinds of conditions when it starts loan negotiations. Is it an exception with Hungary? What are the bases of this sort of treatment?
All sides are assumed and supposed to share the same values on the markets and in the political systems within the EU. It is hardly ever questioned. The trust in Hungary has weakened. The suspicion rises as the Hungarian government refuses the discussion on a more abstract level. It sticks to talking about pending issues strictly in legal terms, and it insists on legal nuances. This negotiation technique serves to pretend that the problem does not exist, or as if it was solved in the meantime.

Last Updated on Friday, 30 August 2013 09:11