House subcommittee to hold hearings on “Future of US-Hungary Relations”

May 19, 2015

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“The Future of US-Hungary Relations” is the subject of a hearing scheduled for this afternoon by the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats.

Members of the committee will hear expert testimony from András Simonyi, Director of the Johns Hopkins School Advanced International Studies Center for Transatlantic Relations, Kurt Volker, Executive Director of the McCain Insitute, Tad Stahnke, Vice President of Research and Analysis for Human Rights First , and Hoyt Brian Yee, Deputy Assistant Secretary  at the US State Department’s Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

Simonyi previously served as Hungary’s ambassador to NATO (1998-2002) and later to the United States (2002-2007).  He spoke to the Beacon about transatlantic relations the day after Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin paid an official visit to Budapest.

Commenting on the hearing, subcommittee chairperson Dana Rohrabacher issued the following statement:

“The United States and Hungary are NATO allies, but more than that, we are both free and democratic nations with shared values and common interests. At a time when the Congress is looking more closely at the situation in Europe, it is important that we address major challenges.  But to be successful, we need to work in good faith with our European partners. This hearing will provide oversight of American policies toward Hungary and help us gain a better understanding of where Hungary’s democracy is at, where it is going, and what to expect.”

Originally, Max Teleki, president of the Hungarian American Coalition, and American Hungarian Federation President Frank Koszorus, Jr., were scheduled to participate.  Both withdrew at the last minute.

Teleki, who has served as president of the Hungarian American Coalition for the past eleven years, spoke to the Beacon earlier this year.

Teleki’s and Koszorus’s respective organizations have received generous grants from Washington D.C.-based “Hungary Initiatives Foundation” led by former Fidesz minister of national development and lobbyist Tamás Fellegi, and funded by the Hungarian government in the form of the foundation’s initial endowment and subsequent budgetary appropriations.

The hearing is scheduled to take place between 2  and 5 pm EST on Tuesday afternoon and can be watched here.

It will largely coincide with a debate scheduled at the European Parliament in Strasbourg this evening over recent comments made by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán on the subject of capital punishment and immigration.

Referenced in this article:

Subcommittee Hearing: The Future of U.S.-Hungary Relations, house.gov