On 20th June 2018, the Institute for Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted the book launch of the recent volume titled „Opening and Identity – Geopolitics, World Trade, Europe” by János Martonyi. The invited speakers included the former Minister of Foreign Affairs and author János Martonyi, Chairman of the Committe on Foreign Affairs of the Hungarian National Assembly Zsolt Németh, and professor emeritus Tibor Várady. The event was moderated by Márton Schőberl, Director of IFAT.
While introducing the book, János Martonyi focused on the various contexts of identity, mentioning the national, Central European and EU identities in the case of Hungary. The former Minister of Foreign Affairs brought the example of the Football World Cup to show how national values can thrive in the global arena without undermining one another.
According to Zsolt Németh, the book is an excellent international progress report with a positive outlook regarding the future. As the Chairman explained, the significance of the concepts of opening and identity lie in mutual values, which require a well-balanced dialogue. As for identity, he highlighted some questions that are reflected in the volume as well, such as the issue of Christianity as a potential identity for Europe, and the identity and values the V4 countries hold in common.
Tibor Várady interpreted opening and identity as complementary concepts, which is reflected in the mentality of the book as well. He elaborated on the topic of identity through the lens of minorities, followed by some thoughts on the relationship of the EU and the Member States. According to the professor, recognizing the role of international law is of crucial importance to understand sovereignty.
During the discussion, the incoherence of the US foreign policy and its effects on Europe were touched upon. As highlighted by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, the answer lies in creating and strenghtening the common European defence skills.