About the Hungarian Atlantic Council

 


The Hungarian Atlantic Council (HAC) was established in the spring of 1992 not as a governmental agency, but as a non-governmental, not-for-profit organisation and association. Its history has been inseparably connected to the history of Hungary's accession to NATO and later on to her membership in NATO.

HAC has an important role to play in presenting, and disseminating knowledge about NATO's activities, our country's NATO membership and security policy, and in promoting the transatlantic idea. It represents a bridge between society and government, ordinary people and state leaders, as well as between Hungarians and NATO.

HAC's original mission was to promote Hungary's accession to the community of Atlantic countries and to promote the acceptance of Euro-Atlantic principles and values in Hungarian society as broadly as possible. The work of hundreds of members of the organization, which also includes many prominent members of Hungarian public life, the organization of countless professional conferences, symposia, lectures, exhibitions and other events, was an important contribution to the wide-ranging presentation of the sphere of Atlantic ideas, as a result of which Hungarian citizens voted overwhelmingly, with 85% majority, in favour of our NATO accession in the decisive referendum in 1997.

During our annual events, we were convinced that the Hungarian people unanimously support the Hungarian Government's maintenance of our NATO membership.

As a result of the changes in the world in the 21st century, it is important to create new forms of political and military cooperation in order to maintain peace and stability in Europe and throughout the world and to prevent the escalation of regional tensions around the world. Today's world is facing serious problems: the proliferation of nuclear weapons, the presence of other weapons of mass destruction, illegal immigration, the possibility of cyberattacks. Mass migration and terrorism create new dangers for mankind. People's mentality and way of thinking have also changed and they are increasingly feeling insecurity in their daily lives because of mass migration.

That is why we aim to convince people every day that, according to our philosophy, NATO is an umbrella organisation: countries and their citizens are safe within this organisation. Maintaining this umbrella organisation is in our common interest: the interest of our country, of our citizens. All these also require international cooperation, the HAC intends to contribute to its realization by its modest means.

HAC - over and above the general objective of promoting, strengthening and asserting Euro-Atlantic integration, taking into consideration our fundamental national and common interests - also has the specific aim of strengthening and intensifying transatlantic cooperation, helping to stabilise the destabilised regions, coordinating Atlantic and national ideas and aspirations in the fight against terrorism, and representing Hungary in NATO, ATA and other international security policy fora. HAC intends to contribute to the implementation and success of the Government's foreign policy agenda through these objectives.

HAC's concrete, practical activities continue to include national-scale educational presentations and fora on NATO's most important tasks, Hungary's successful participation in peacekeeping missions of NATO and the UN, international counter-terrorism actions, addressing global challenges, addressing the origin and root causes of the migration wave aiming at Europe.

HAC organises meetings, conferences, forum events ("tea parties") to achieve these general and specific objectives, releases publications and supports research on these topics, organises exhibitions and educational presentations.

In order to achieve these objectives, it cooperates with many national and international organisations committed to the transatlantic thought and goals - within the framework of a formal cooperation agreement with many of these entities - and participates in harmonising the activities of these organisations as well.

The youth section of HAC was established in 1995 as the Hungarian Youth Atlantic Council (HYAC) with the aim of familiarising the Hungarian youth with the transatlantic idea and the importance of European integration. In addition to general security issues, its events addressed the decisions of NATO summits, presented and analysed the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy and participated in NATO runs.

HAC is a member of the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) and HYAC is a member of the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA).

The recognition of our international work has been reinforced by the election of Zsolt Rábai, member of the Hungarian Atlantic Council, as Secretary General of ATA at the Autumn General Assembly of ATA in 2018, while the President of HYAC, Félix Á. Debrenti, Vice President of HAC, was elected Vice President of YATA.

The Hungarian Atlantic Council is led by an 8-member presidency chaired by György Csóti, one of the founding members of the Hungarian Atlantic Council, while its honorary chairman and former President is Prof. Dr. Sylvester E. Vizi, Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. The Council's work is monitored by a 3-member Supervisory Committee.

Budapest, November, 2020


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