GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS OF MAGYAR NEMZETI BANK (THE CENTRAL BANK OF HUNGARY)
The Magyar Nemzeti Bank (MNB) lays special emphasis on its international relations and on participation in the professional fora of international economic institutions and financial organizations (ECB, European Commission, IMF, OECD, BIS, EBRD etc.). Not only the western but also the eastern relationships are of high priority for the MNB. Therefore, the work of the MNB is mainly determined by carrying out the duties resulting from EU membership at a high professional level, while strengthening its relations in the Americas and in Asia too.
Concerning the western and transatlantic relations, the MNB cooperates with the following institutions:
While the relationship with the European Union remains the top priority in our international relations, the central bank has also opened toward the East, creating a balance between East and West in the area of international cooperation. Increasing the MNB’s recognition with regards to its international engagement and channeling the Hungarian central bank further into the international bloodstream have become an important objective. Thus, as the main pillar of western network building, foreign representation offices were established, and a goal has been set to have Budapest as the host of more and more international programs and events related to the central bank.
Though bilateral cooperations with EU institutions and the central banks of EU Member States continue to be the most important element of the MNB’s international relationship network, the MNB actively strives to establish and maintain fruitful relations with globally active institutions, too. Strengthening bilateral relations with foreign central banks has been in the focus of the Magyar Nemzeti Bank’s international activities for many years. In this context, the MNB pays special attention to monitoring economic developments and the activities of central banks in those EU and third countries that have achieved significant results and can serve as an important example for Hungary in terms of monetary policy, financial stability or supervision. In line with this goal, the MNB established Foreign Representation Offices in Hamburg, Paris, Rome and New York City, which operated until May 2019.
Besides, the MNB takes part in the policy of Eastern opening focusing on developing Asian relations. Within that framework, special attention is given to strengthening relations with central banks, higher education institutions and research institutes in the Eastern countries as well as with renowned experts in the region. In order to support the development of Asian relations, the central bank’s analytical work has also been extended to cover the financial, economic, geopolitical, external and internal political topicalities in this context. In recent years, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank has strengthened its relations not only with the Chinese central bank (People’s Bank of China, PBOC), but also with esteemed higher education institutions. In the field of scientific and educational cooperation, the MNB actively cooperates with two Chinese universities (Tsinghua and Fudan), aiming inter alia at establishing a joint research network, creating student and teacher exchange programs, and launching specific financial and business programs. The MNB maintains excellent relations also with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). The results of the collaboration materialize in high-level meetings and joint lectures or conferences. The 16+1 China-CEEC Central Bank Governors’ Meeting, which was organized by Hungary for the first time in its history, and the Budapest Eurasia Forum are also important platforms in our Eastern opening.
Cooperation with international research centers (e.g. the International Institute of Finance) and think tanks is also intended to expand the MNB’s international relationship network and to establish new channels for liaising with foreign partners. This is beneficial for the MNB from several aspects. Its senior officials and experts are invited to events organized by the research centers where, in addition to deepening their professional expertise, they have an opportunity to develop personal relationships with the most recognized international experts, while also gaining access to the information and knowledge base accumulated by the think tanks and harness this intelligence to support the central bank’s professional work. Moreover, the results of foreign intellectual workshops can also be channeled into the educational programs of the MNB by inviting foreign experts and lecturers as well as by organizing joint research, publications and events.
Yet another important pillar of the international relations is the organization of international professional conferences and events by MNB. The Lámfalussy Lectures Conference, launched in 2014, has now become the most important international annual flagship conference of the MNB, which, in line with the exemplary oeuvre of the eponym, Sándor Lámfalussy, succeeded in launching a joint reflection that is in harmony with the new type of role concept of the world’s central banks, while not moving away from our platform of solid values.