Paris, March 24 (MTI) – Hungary has submitted its bid to host next year’s ministerial meeting of the International Energy Agency (IEA), a government official said.
Foreign ministry state secretary István Mikola told MTI after the agency’s latest government board meeting in Paris late on Wednesday that member states were pleased to hear that Budapest was bidding to host the IEA ministerial in 2017. The IEA could decide on the host city within a couple of weeks, he said.
Mikola said one of the reasons why hosting the event would be significant for Hungary was because it is a “sensitive country” in terms of energy supply with a vested interest in energy diversification. Hungary must therefore seize every opportunity it gets to guarantee long-term energy security, the state secretary added.
Hosting the IEA event would also increase Hungary’s influence and prestige from a foreign policy standpoint and would strengthen the country’s convention tourism.
Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó first offered to host the 2017 ministerial meeting last year after the start of a planned three-year renovation of the IEA’s Paris headquarters.
The IEA is an autonomous intergovernmental organisation established in the framework of the OECD originally with the aim of responding to disruptions in oil supply in 1974 in the wake of the 1973 oil crisis. The agency now acts as an energy policy advisor to its 28 member states. Hungary joined the IEA in 1997.