243749 1/15/2010 8:27 10BUDAPEST21 Embassy Budapest UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY 09BUDAPEST138|09BUDAPEST210|09BUDAPEST267|09BUDAPEST761|09STATE122732 VZCZCXRO8754 RR RUEHIK DE RUEHUP #0021 0150827 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 150827Z JAN 10 FM AMEMBASSY BUDAPEST TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4807 INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE RUEHBM/AMEMBASSY BUCHAREST 1452 UNCLAS BUDAPEST 000021
STATE FOR EEB/TPP/MTAA/ABT JACK BOBO AND MARCELLA SZYMANSKI; EUR/CE JMOORE; COMMERCE FOR SSAVICH
E.O. 12958: N/A TAGS: EAGR, ECON, ETRD, TBIO, KPAO, OIIP, HU SUBJECT: HUNGARY'S PROPOSAL FOR FY2010 AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY OUTREACH
REF: A. 09 STATE 122732 B. 09 BUDAPEST 761 C. 09 BUDAPEST 267 D. 09 BUDAPEST 210 E. 09 BUDAPEST 138
1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Hungary has long resisted agricultural biotechnology (refs B-E). This spring's parliamentary elections will usher in a new government and an opportunity to advocate for agbiotech with a fresh group of stakeholders. While we do not expect that the new government's initial approach to agbiotech will substantially change, we believe that regular, early engagement on this issue may yield progress in the longer term. We recommend outreach at both the political level and at universities with strong agricultural research programs and propose visits by the Department of State's Senior Advisor for Biotechnology, followed by an IIP-selected expert. END SUMMARY.
New leaders, new angle
2. (SBU) Parliamentary elections will occur in April and new ministers should be in place by June. We recommend that State's Senior Advisor for Biotechnology travel to Hungary in late June to engage with the following Ministries: Agriculture and Rural Development; Environment and Water Management; and Development and Economy. We also recommend a meeting with Parliament's Agricultural Committee.
3. (SBU) Previous outreach (ref D) has yielded little success. However, we have noted greater receptivity for arguments showing the tangible environmental benefits of biotech varieties, e.g. those that improve drought resistance, heat tolerance, or have biofuel potential.
Outreach at universities
4. (SBU) Hungary's resistance to agbiotech stands in contrast to its rich history of scientific research and discovery. To help promote the importance of agbiotech research, we recommend bringing in one expert speaker (selected through IIP) to deliver presentations at the Universities of Debrecen, Szent Istvan, and West Hungary, perhaps focusing on agbiotech's potential role in boosting biofuel production and addressing other environmental concerns. We believe strong science presented to Hungary's well-educated technical experts can also bring results.
5. (U) The proposed budget is as follows:
MINISTERIAL MEETINGS - SENIOR ADVISOR TO BIOTECHNOLOGY - 4 NIGHTS
$3,000.00 ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE U.S. - HUNGARY $1,170.00 PER DIEM AND LODGING $ 300.00 LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
$4,470.00 SUBTOTAL MINISTERIAL MEETINGS
IIP SPEAKER AT UNIVERSITIES - 4 NIGHTS
$3,000.00 ROUNDTRIP AIRFARE U.S. - HUNGARY $1,170.00 PER DIEM AND LODGING $ 600.00 HONORARIUM FOR 1 U.S. SPEAKER FOR 3 DAYS $ 300.00 LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
$5,070.00 SUBTOTAL IIP SPEAKER
$9,540.00 TOTAL AMOUNT REQUESTED FOR FY2010 AGBIOTECH OUTREACH
6. (U) Post's point of contact is Economic Officer Aaron Feit ( 36-1-475-4240; IVG 990-4240; email@example.com) KOUNALAKIS