The most important task of the Permanent Representation of Hungary to the European Union in Brussels is to present and assert Hungarian interests and sectoral policies in the European Union. Being the largest Hungarian mission abroad, structurally it belongs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but in terms of its composition, it covers the entire Hungarian government structure.
We also find representatives of all Hungarian ministries and numerous background institutions among the diplomats working in the different policy fields. In this sense, the Permanent Representation is an “extended hand” of the Hungarian government in Brussels.
During the scope of their everyday activities, staff working at the Permanent Representation not only represent Hungarian interests, but also provide information and analysis for the government, which is then better prepared to shape the EU affairs of Hungary. Beside this, the Permanent Representation is also the channel for official communication between EU institutions and Hungary.
Unlike all other missions abroad, but in line with the system followed by the majority of the member states, there are three Ambassadors in office at the Permanent Representation.
The Head of the Permanent Representation is Ambassador Péter Györkös, who has been in office since September 2010. He participates in the Committee of Permanent Representatives, which in the French abbreviation is called COREPER II and deals with justice and home affairs, economic and financial issues, as well as general affairs related to the European Union and the preparation of meetings of heads of state and government. This organ is like an hour-glass “narrowing down the political level, the Council of Ministers meeting in 10 different formats and the expert level, where decisions are prepared in more than 200 working groups.
The deputy of the Permanent Representative sits in COREPER I to represent Hungary. This committee plays a similar role to COREPER II in the field of sectoral policies like transportation, energy, education or agriculture. The post is now occupied by Ambassador Olivér Várhelyi.
The EU committee of Ambassadors dealing with common foreign and security policy (PSC) has been functioning since 2000 on the basis of the Treaty of Amsterdam, where the Hungarian member is Ambassador Károly Grúber.
The PSC Ambassador leads the Foreign and Security Policy Office of the Permanent Representation, supervises the different geographical working groups (Western Balkans, Eastern Europe etc.), the work of RELEX mainly dealing with sanctions and practical issues related to EU missions, as well as the COTER working group dealing with the fight against terrorism.