The government puts the national interest first in shaping the public image of the country, said the government spokeswoman and government commissioner responsible for domestic communications and the development of the national brand, at a conference held at the Rákóczi Free University in Sátoraljaújhely on Saturday.
Speaking at a panel discussion, Alexandra Szentkirályi said that the often stereotypical image of Hungarians or Hungary is being replaced by the political mindset that the cabinet has been pursuing for the past ten years.
The presentation of how Hungarians live their lives and how the government runs the country has become a type of brand-building, the spokeswoman said, noting that the Hungarian national interest, consistently represented in political, economic, or cultural decisions, is the most important component of this model.
From a political perspective, the migration crisis and its management was the first event that turned the spotlight of foreign countries on Hungary, she highlighted.
“We entered a realm where the actions of Hungarians were not only significant in a domestic context, but where an innovative and in fact very brave Hungarian response to a situation affecting the whole of Europe was given,” said Alexandra Szentkirályi.
Related articleFINA President: 'The World Swimming Championships Have Begun, Big Thanks to Hungary'
Hussein al-Mussalam, president of FINA Kuwait, the international aquatics federation, said Hungary deserved a big thank you for creating the conditions for the world championships just four months after the outbreak of the coronavirus, and in the midst of the war in Ukraine.Continue reading
From this moment, she said, foreign countries turned their attention to Hungary. This new attitude brought recognition from many places and condemnation from others, but Hungary was no longer sitting on the “back bench” in terms of communication, as it had been before, the government spokeswoman explained.
Regarding the hosting of major international sporting events in Hungary, Szentkirályi said that this had become a strategy for the government; the country is currently hosting the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest and the World Athletics Championships next year.
Szentkirályi emphasized that these events are benefiting the country, and of course, in addition to sport, they are beneficial for tourism, the economy, society, and the Hungarian national spirit, which is a very important aspect, she stressed.
At the same time, she said, it was important to present the Hungarian government’s position on a given issue in the Hungarian and foreign media, to present a “different interpretation” explaining how the same story looks from a Hungarian perspective.
The big question is how to present the country’s achievements so far, how to tell our own story to ourselves and the world, and how to tell it to the outside world, Szentkirályi said.
She stressed that the Hungarian government would pay attention to this task, and that cultural institutions and organizations that promote Hungarian culture around the world could also play a role in this, in addition to traditional media campaigns.
Featured photo by Tamás Vasvári/MTI