GÉZA JESZENSZKY (Budapest, 1941): D. Phil., historian, graduated from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest. From 1976 to 2011, he taught at what is today Corvinus University of Budapest. He was a Fulbright Visiting Professor at UC Santa Barbara in 1984–86, and has taught the history of international relations and of Central Europe at numerous other universities in the US and Europe. He was Foreign Minister of Hungary in the first non- Communist government (1990–94), and Ambassador to the United States of America in 1998–2002. At present, he is Hungary’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Norway and to the Republic of Iceland. He is the author of numerous publications on history and foreign policy; his latest book in English is Post-Communist Europe and its National/Ethnic Problems (Budapest, 2009). He is an editorial adviser for Hungarian Review.
"It might sound over-optimistic, but I think that the present apparently deep political divisions in Europe can be
bridged with determination and goodwill. In the short run the decisions reached unanimously at the EU Summit
on 19 February, strengthening the Schengen borders, flying bona fide refugees from Turkey to Europe and
distributing them not by quotas but accepting them on a voluntary base, is a rational solution that could work."
"'Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.' Lord Palmerston formulated this maxim more than once. It has since become a commonplace, equally valid for Great Powers and for smaller states like Hungary. But first every nation has to make up its mind what those interests are. Peace and
8 HUNGARIAN REVIEW | January 2015 prosperity – that is the basic interest of all sensible countries. But how to achieve and maintain that – here is the rub, this is the crux of the matter."
"A year ago the fear persisted among many Central Europeans that they may be regarded by the US as expendable. It may have been difficult for the US to drop them as allies, but less so to simply neglect them."
"The communist utopia which once fired the imagination of millions in search of a better life turned into a brutal dictatorship and caused enormous suffering, the violent death of tens of millions of innocent victims, before ending fully discredited."