‘The Hungarian Economic Association had an eventful, rich and productive year, thanks to the heads, active members and supporters of the Sections and County Organizations’, said Éva Hegedüs, Secretary General of the Hungarian Economic Association in her welcome speech delivered on Wednesday at the annual evaluation event held in Budapest involving the heads of the Sections and County Organizations of the HEA.

Éva Hegedüs recalled that in 2017 the elected Board Members set about their work in the spirit of ‘Preservation and Renewal’ with goals including first of all enhanced international relations and improved communication with the youth, simultaneously upholding the traditions and further continuing the former successful events of the HEA. The Secretary General said that the currently finishing presidential cycle included three itinerant conferences (hosted by Eger, Debrecen and Nyíregyháza) highly successful in terms of both professional merit and attendance, and preparations for next year’s conference in Szeged were already underway.

The Sections and the County Organizations will hold re-elections next spring, followed by the election of a new Board and Supervisory Committee in May, the President of the HEA reminded. Speaking of the improving international relations of the HEA, President Gyula Pleschinger highlighted that the Association participated in the 18th World Congress of Economists in Mexico City in summer 2017 with an independent section, and the HEA also organized numerous professional conferences and events jointly with the European Economic and Social Committee. The cooperation agreement established by the economic associations of the Visegrad Countries in the spring of 2018 yielded three major international conferences: a prestigious international conference in Budapest was dedicated to the reformation of economics, in addition to a V4+Romania investors’ forum, and a conference jointly organized in Brno with the Economic Associations of the Czech Republic and Slovakia to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the transition from command to market-oriented economy, including the HEA and numerous Hungarian speakers as well. For the first time in 2019, the HEA joined another V4 initiative, the Economics Olympiad, whose international final organized in Prague yielded fine results for the team of Hungarian students. According to plan the international final of the 2020 Olympiad will be organized by the HEA in Budapest.

As Gyula Pleschinger emphasized, cross-border relations with the HEA partner organizations also improved; an important result of the joint work was the launch of the Pallas Athene Excellence Scholarship Programme in 2018 initiated by the Hungarian Economic Association, modelled on the MNB Excellence Scholarship Programme, aiming to support the most talented Hungarian students outside the borders of Hungary. Another significant development in 2019 was the launch of the organization of the Transcarpathian Hungarian Economic Association in Beregovo ‘mentored’ by the Szabolcs-Szatmár-Bereg County Organization of the HEA. The increased offering of programmes brought along organizational developments as well: in the past three years three new sections were set up (European Union Section, Demographics Section, Fintech and Financial Culture Section), along with the reorganization of the Public Finance Section of the HEA, he added.

Gyula Pleschinger also thanked the most active Sections and County Organizations for their work, particularly the European Union Section, the Audit Section, the Agricultural and Food Industry Section and the Labour Section, adding that the Hungarian Economic Association organized altogether almost one hundred professional events in 2019 as well.