Parliament’s foreign affairs committee holds confirmation hearings on four new ambassadors

November 13, 2017

Parliament's foreign affairs committee holds confirmation hearings on four new ambassadors
The Hungarian Embassy in Vienna

The National Assembly’s foreign affairs committee will hold confirmation hearings Monday for four new ambassadorial nominees, reports index.hu.

The nominees

  • Andor Nagy (Vienna) is reportedly a longtime confidante of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. He was Fidesz’s party chairman from 1995-1998, becoming chief of staff for Orbán in 1998, the year Orbán first became prime minister. According to Nagy’s CV, his knowledge of Germanic culture is the result of a “Soros scholarship which enabled [him] to undertake sociology and legal studies for four years at Berlin’s Freie Universität.” Nagy was an MP from 2004 to 2013 before embarking on his diplomatic career as Hungary’s ambassador to Israel.
  • Kristóf Altusz (Copenhagen) is currently the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s deputy undersecretary for European and American Affairs. He recently represented the Hungarian government in its negotiations with the state of New York concerning Lex CEU. According to his CV, Altusz was a chief negotiator with the Austrian government during the refugee crisis in 2015. Before that he was a junior diplomat at the Hungarian embassy in Berlin.
  • Tamás Iván Kovács (Brussels and Luxembourg) had served in this post from 2012 to 2014 before his mandate was cut short. He then reportedly wound up at a high-ranking post in OLAF, the European Commission Anti-Fraud Agency. In 2014, the government reportedly had plans to merge its embassy in Luxembourg, its EU representation, and the embassy in Brussels, but is considering establishing a separate embassy in Luxembourg. However, no formal decision on this has been announced.
  • Judit Timaffy (Havana) was the consul general in Milan at the time of the Verona bus tragedy in January this year that resulted in the deaths of 17 Hungarians on a school skiing trip. She was touted as a possible successor for the post of ambassador in Rome, but has since been assigned to take over the embassy in Havana. Little is known of Timaffy, aside from an earlier report in hvg.hu which found that “she arrived in diplomacy from the outside. As a resident of Italy, she would regularly write letters to the editor to Italian dailies in defense of Orbán and the government.”

Index reported two weeks ago that Hungary’s ambassador to Belgium, Zoltán Nagy, would be taking over Hungary’s representation to NATO (Tamás Iván Kovács will take over his post in Belgium).

According to Index, Zsolt Csutora and Szilveszter Bus will be taking over the foreign ministry’s “eastern-” and “southern opening,” as ambassadors to Minsk and Bangkok, respectively. Career diplomat Norbert Konkoly will be Hungary’s ambassador in Moscow.