Kovács and Kováts are the two spokespeople for the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Spokespeople in their traditional form do not speak for themselves. Rather they establish the link and the filter between the administration and the media.
„A spokesman or spokesperson is someone engaged or elected to speak on behalf of others.” This is beautifully engrained in the French expression “porte-parole” which symbolizes that we normally speak for someone else. In our case this is the Presidency of the Council.
From this perspective, what we are doing here (starting up a blog), could be a „faux pas” for some more traditionally minded colleagues. Still, the world is changing and so does our role. We find it important to provide a face and an interface for interacting with the interested and informed public and to be transparent about our work and the presidency.
This will be our personal account of the Union. Here we speak for ourselves, not for the Presidency, while moving within the limits of our mandate. Our view is focused on the daily bits and pieces of Council life, rather than the coverage of the events and policies. If this blog can open a small window into the Justus Lipsius and give a feeling of its atmosphere, then we have succeeded in our efforts.
Why Kovács and Kováts?
Kovács was the second most common family name in Hungary with 218.252 people in 2001. In its Slavic form (Kovač or Kovačić, with different spellings) it is also very widespread in other CEE countries.
The name Mr Kovács is used in Hungary as a shorthand for the everyday man, eternalized by some ad campaigns. For us it is a symbol for Central Europe and for our view of the European Union from a Hungarian and central European perspective.
We cannot deny the fact that we are living in Belgium, whose soul for Kováts is epitomized by Hergé’s two detectives, Dupond et Dupont (or Thompson and Thomson in the English version). We stumble around the diplomatic world like the odd-couple in the Tintin adventures and this blog is supposed to denote our weekly adventures while working for the Hungarian Presidency.