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Hungary Visa Waivers

Ambassadors listen to the speech of Senator George Voinovich during Reception Celebrating The Visa Waiver Program2/6/2009 - The American Hungarian Federation Attends Reception Celebrating The Visa Waiver Program... On February 3, the Embassies of Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Malta and South Korea hosted a reception at the Hart Senate Office Building to celebrate the enlargement of the Visa Waiver Program (“VWP”).  The ambassadors of each country, including Hungarian Ambassador Ferenc Somogyi, greeted the guests [read more]

Pres Bush10/17/2008 - The American Hungarian Federation Participates in White House Ceremony on Hungary’s Inclusion in the Visa Waiver Program.  “I’m pleased to stand with the representatives of seven countries – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and South Korea – that have met the requirements to be admitted to the United States Visa Waiver Program,” said President Bush at the October 17, 2008 White House Rose Garden ceremony. [read more]

Richard Danzig, Lee Feinstein, John Lehman. American Hungarian Federation Raises Visa Waiver at America Abroad Media Town Hall Meeting: "Foreign Policy and the Presidential Election: America's Image in the World"4/7/2008 - American Hungarian Federation Raises Visa Waiver at America Abroad Media Town Hall Meeting: "Foreign Policy and the Presidential Election: America's Image Problem" (Washington, D.C.)  The American Hungarian Federation attended a special town hall discussion, presented by WAMU 88.5, America Abroad Media, and The American Interest magazine, and senior foreign policy advisors from the presidential campaigns of Senators Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Barack Obama.  The participants discussed strategies for improving America’s standing abroad. [read more]

Hungary and the United States Sign Visa Waiver Agreement3/24/2008 - Hungary and the United States Sign Visa Waiver AgreementOn Monday, March 17, 2008, Hungary, Slovakia and Lithuania signed a Visa Waiver Program memorandum of understanding with the United States.  This agreement is intended to pave the way to help the three countries qualify for visa waiver free travel to the United States later this year. Hungary has become the latest former Soviet-bloc EU member to sign a deal to secure its citizens visa-free travel to the United States, the MTI news agency reported Friday.

The protocol agreement was signed in Washington. "Hungarians can start going to the United States without a visa from autumn," Hungarian Interior Minister Tibor Draskovics said. The minister added that the Hungarian parliament still had to ratify the deal.

The American Hungarian Federation (along with other individuals and organizations) has long supported visa waiver for Hungary, speaking out about the need to provide Hungarians the same right to visa free travel that Americans enjoy when traveling to Hungary.  For example during a panel discussion on June 14, 2007 sponsored by the Hudson Institute’s Center for European Studies on “The Enduring Strains of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe,” panelist Frank Koszorus, Jr., the Federation's co-president, noted:          

“An inexplicable policy that is causing inestimable damage to the United States with its new Central and Eastern European NATO allies is the region’s exclusion from the visa waiver program.  As Helle Dale wrote in the spring issue of European Affairs:  ‘Meanwhile the problem is fueling anti-U.S. antagonisms and    a perception of capricious discrimination by U.S. bureaucrats ---and damping the visits to the U.S. of people from countries with whom Washington would like to improve commercial and intellectual ties.  Meanwhile horror stories abound from    friends and diplomats from Central and Eastern Europe about the problems besetting foreigners seeking to visit the United States. In fact bringing up the subject of visas with any resident of those countries is like waving a red flag before a bull.’ Visa waiver must be satisfactorily addressed and resolved at long last.”

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Embassy of Estonia (by Andrei Valentinov)

American Hungarian Federation’s Public Statements Regarding Visa Waiver

Remarks of Frank Koszorus Jr. at the Hudson Institute’s Panel Discussion, “The Enduring Strains of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe”
[Read More]

Wa 3/28/2008 - Letter to the Editor: America and its Eastern European allies
[Read More]

HVG.HU: Frank koszorús szemével- Mit jelent az amerikai vízummentesség Magyarországnak?
[Read More]

Related Articles

Washington Times publishes AHF Letter to the Editor 3/28/2008 - Washington Times publishes AHF Letter to the Editor: "America and its Eastern European allies

Helle Dale rightly asserts that waiving visa requirements for our allies in Central and Eastern Europe is indispensable ("Building strategic relationships," Op-Ed, Wednesday). The visa-waiver program is a building block in the security structure of the region.

The collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of sovereignty to the nations of Eastern Europe validated Western values. It soon became apparent, however, that Russia had not reconciled its loss of empire and would seek to influence the region, although less directly than by dispatching tanks as it had done during the Cold War.

Quickly reintegrating Central and Eastern Europe into Western institutions, and thereby strengthening democracy, was the best means to advance both the geostrategic interests of the United States and the aspirations of the nations of the region. The prescience of the United States in enlarging NATO to include the former Soviet satellites and the Baltic countries became apparent as Russia began to aggressively assert itself.

In order to prevent any backsliding, the United States must continue to exercise leadership by remaining fully engaged in the region. Relatively simple steps taken to further this engagement will pay handsome dividends. These include reaching out not only to governments and the former ruling nomenklatura, but also to the people of the region, especially those who at great sacrifice helped topple the Communist regimes.

Extending the visa-waiver program to the citizens of our new allies, including Hungarians, is a critical way of shoring up their friendship toward the United States and reversing a growing cynicism caused by a feeling that America is ignoring them after the initial euphoria following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The United States needs genuine and staunch friends. Visa waiver extends the hand of friendship to our new allies." - FRANK KOSZORUS JR.
Co-president, AHF
[Link to Article]

Enduring Strains of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe: A distinguished panel of experts convened by Hudson’s Center for European Studies offered their perspectives.6/14/2007 - Enduring Strains of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe: A distinguished panel of experts convened by Hudson’s Center for European Studies offered their perspectives. [more]

3/29/2004 - Supporting NATO Expansion and Minority Rights... AHF 1st Vice President Frank Koszorus and the Hungarian American Coalition's representative to the Central and East European Coalition (CEEC) joins US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld  and gives speech on NATO expansion on Capitol Hill re-iterating concerns over protection of Hungarians and other minorities in Rumania and the Carpathian Basin.

Two events took place in Washington, D.C. related to the latest round of NATO’s enlargement – a White House ceremony and a gala reception. AHF 1st Vice President Frank Koszorus, Jr. attended both events along with other Hungarian American leaders. [more]

10/27/2003 - AHF-DC and CHACR Urging Congress to Include Minority Rights as a basis for Rumanian accession to NATO...The U.S. Senate passed a resolution on October 27, 2003 on the occasion of Rumanian president Iliescu’s visit to Washington. The Senate expressed its appreciation for the “strong and vibrant relations between the United States and Romania.” The resolution also recognized “ the steps the Government of Romania has taken and continues to take in economic, political, and social reforms, including reforms to improve protections of the rights of minorities.”

In the House of Representatives, however, members of the Hungarian American congressional caucus echoed the concerns of the Hungarian American community when submitting a letter to President Bush on the eve of his meeting with President Iliescu. [more]

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