European Union relations and the Visegrad Cooperation plays a central role in the life and activities of the Antall József Knowledge Centre, as the very concept of the V4 was established by József Antall, who in addition to regional cooperation, also considered European integration as a factor that is of key importance to the future of Hungary.
In addition to its educational activities, the EU-V4 Office also organises professional programs and conferences with a wide international audience. Programs of the office include workshops organised for students and experts alike, EU career orientation presentations and negotiation-simulation competitions. The office also aims to organise professional events and publish books and publications through which the V4 Cooperation can be rendered visible and meaningful in the fields of education and research. For the EU-V4 Office good relations with the institutions of the German- and French-speaking countries are exceptionally important, also a long-term objective of the Knowledge Centre is to build a network which covers the wide scope of Europe and all Brussels-based EU institutions.
The office has established a number of long term cooperation programs with important foreign institutions: including the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies, the EUROPEUM, the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung, the Polish Institute of International Affairs, the Centre for European and North Atlantic Affairs, the European Academy of Diplomacy, the Prague Security Studies Institute, the Res Publica Foundation, the Italian Society for International Organization, the Faculty of International and Political Studies of Jagiellonian University, and the Faculty of International Relations of the University of Economics in Bratislava. During the course of its work the EU-V4 Office closely cooperates with the embassies, cultural institutions and with the specialized departments of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the EU countries.
The continuous widening and strengthening of Far Eastern and Middle Eastern partnerships are essential to Hungary—and therefore to AJKC as well. An instrument of this effort is the kind of educational, scientific, and cultural engagement that entails the desire to understand these region’s politics and economic thinking. The Knowledge Centre aims to give Hungarian students and society in general a wide perspective on the current tendencies of the region related to the political, economic, and security spheres.
With regular events, publications, and the widening of its academic profile, AJKC wishes to become a defining institution of Asian and Middle Eastern scholarship, publication, and research in Hungary.
The Antall József Knowledge Centre has devoted special attention to furthering its associations with experts and institutions specialising in Asia and, more specifically, the People’s Republic of China and Japan. Our aim is to establish a platform where students, young researchers and experts focusing on Asia can share their professional experience.
The Antall József Knowledge Centre organizes conferences, workshops and roundtable discussions in cooperation with academic institutions from the Middle East. These events present the complex political, cultural, and societal characteristics of the region. The Knowledge Centre aims to maintain and develop cooperation with all of the rapidly advancing countries in the Middle East. Our further goals include supporting traditional academic education with special events, providing opportunities for research and professional internships, as well as continuing our publishing activities.
The Antall József Knowledge Centre’s Transatlantic Relations Office began its work in July 2014. In addition to professional exchange programmes, our colleagues aim to deepen the broader American-Hungarian relations (including Latin-America and Canada) by bringing together policymakers, established and aspiring experts, scholars and students at both the domestic and international level through conferences, publications, seminars, professional discussions, and research.
Introducing the shared political history and most important events of the current relationship between the United States and Hungary (including the work of people actively involved in this relationship) is one of the main tasks of the Office. With the expansion of the Knowledge Centre’s scientific work, the Office also takes part in research projects with the aim of including original materials in range of publications released by the Knowledge Centre.
The Office is also responsible for building relationships with overseas organisations and universities, as well as for managing scholarship programmes with institutions such as the Fulbright Commission in order to provide opportunities for students and young professionals to gain valuable experience in various fields within the AJKC talent management programme.
A most important field of research and science management of the Antall József Knowledge Centre is foreign and security policy. The defense of economic, moral and cultural goods compels the citizens to process, discuss, and widely disseminate security-related academic and political issues. The Knowledge Centre takes it as a core value to further this field of study and its achievements as well as to spread the results in plain Hungarian that does not take an expert to read through. It is important that alongside minor roundtable series, the major conferences and workshops should focus on the timeliest issues. The AJKC often tries new, unusual angles at its events, as experience proved that this way it is easier to reach out to the audience and get them involved in a deeper layer of academic topics.
Talent management is central to the activities of the Antall József Knowledge Centre. Through the lectures and internship opportunities on offer, secondary school and university students can acquire experience not typically available via school curricula. Our offices in Brussels, Budapest, Pécs, and Győr all host students who seek internship opportunities either to complete a professional practice as required by universities or out of personal interest.
For secondary school students, the Soda Lab (since autumn 2013) and Talent Academy (since 2018) have been organising programme series and trainings on career guidance and the useful ways of spending their community service required by their schools. The projects present a new view on education, that are based on opinion-sharing, learning in groups, first-hand experiences, and cooperation.
The aim of the Creative Hungarian Minds programme series is to introduce talented inventors and researchers and their inventions. Since autumn 2014, successful inventions such as Leonar3do, Masat-1, Smog-1, Puli Space Technologies, Gömböc, and Rescube Robotics have been introduced to the public.
A new, cooperative approach is also instrumental in the organisation of work in modern workplaces, and many startups operate along these principles. Therefore, the Office works closely with local and international startups. As part of the think.BDPST conference, we offer events such as the Startup and Innovation Corner or Startup-Meetup, while also working with similar organisations focusing on talent management via supporting and introducing startups.
The publishing activities of AJKC involve releasing professional publications, scientific works on political and social sciences (with special regard to security policy and international relations), as well as university textbooks. In our autobiographical series, prominent personalities of the Cold War period, including Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Margaret Thatcher, and Helmut Kohl recount crucial years and decisions still affecting their lives. Reacting to events of political, social, and economic significance in the 21st century, the professional publications series of the Knowledge Centre is made up of works incorporating the latest results of international relations and geopolitics, the history of politics, economics, and psychology.