Csaba Balázs Rigó: “We are against creating “blocs”, we need to build a bridge between the economies of the East and the West.”

Budapest, 26 April 2024 - The Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) and the Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) will strengthen their professional relations, agreed Csaba Balázs Rigó, President of the GVH, and Birol Küle, President of the TCA, in Budapest. In January 2024, the GVH also joined the Competition Council of Turkic States, led by its Turkish counterpart, as an observer. During today's signing ceremony, Csaba Balázs Rigó, President of the GVH, noted: “We are against blocs; the GVH considers it important to build bridges between different economies, legal systems and cultures. We have entered into today’s cooperation with our Turkish colleagues in the spirit of the friendly relations of the past 100 years and as a pledge of another 100 years of prosperous cooperation.”

On 18 December 1923, over 100 years ago, the Republic of Turkey, established on 29 October 1923 under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was the first to enter into diplomatic cooperation with Hungary. To celebrate the centenary, the two countries have announced a year-long Hungarian-Turkish cultural year in both countries. The Year will showcase the cultural, economic and innovation relations between the two countries through a series of cultural events.

The Turkish Competition Authority has already been an important technical partner of the GVH through the Competition Council of the Turkic States. In early 2024, the GVH joined the organisation as an observer, similar to Hungary's role in the Organisation of Turkic States (OTS). The intergovernmental organisation, initiated by the TCA aims to strengthen regional cooperation, develop competition culture, and promote knowledge sharing. By joining, the GVH aims to promote the development of competition law and policy in the member countries concerned and to deepen its relations with the competition authorities of these countries.

To promote international relations and professional cooperation, the GVH and the TCA have further strengthened their cooperation by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Budapest on 26 April 2024. Gülşen Karanis Ekşioğlu, Turkey's Ambassador to Hungary, also attended the event at the GVH headquarters.

At the signing ceremony, Csaba Balázs Rigó, President of the GVH, underlined: “The GVH considers the strengthening of cooperation, international relations and connectivity as a strategic goal. We are against “blocs”. We believe in what connects us. Our aim is to contribute to building bridges between East and West, between different economies, legal systems and cultures. The agreement with the Turkish Competition Authority has symbolic significance in the light of the past 100 years of friendly relations, but it also provides a real and important basis for cooperation between our institutions and in the wider regional context.

Under the MoU, the parties will, among other things, exchange expertise on competition enforcement and investigations and on contacts with national competition authorities; hold mutual training sessions; and cooperate more closely in the organisation of international conferences.

Birol Küle, President of the Turkish Competition Authority, highlighted that “It is crucial to remember the instrumental role international cooperation in competition policy has played in attaining free, dynamic, and integrated markets on a global scale, as evidenced by numerous examples. Through the Memorandum of Understanding signed today, we are delighted to further strengthen our amicable relationship with our Hungarian counterparts, which was initiated by the creation of the Competition Council of Turkic States in January of the current year. We firmly believe that our shared ancestry, historical and cultural connections, and mutual economic interests will foster this assembly, and pave the way for comprehending and addressing contemporary competition law concerns. Our joint venture will encourage information exchange, foster trust, and ultimately promote a thriving competition enforcement culture within the region. As two highly-regarded and seasoned agencies, the Turkish and Hungarian competition authorities are poised to play pivotal roles as guiding forces for this universal mission across a vast geographical expanse from Central Europe to Central Asia.”

The Hungarian and Turkish competition authorities play very similar roles in their respective regions. Both competition authorities form a sort of bridge between East and West and, due to their market-oriented approach with a well-developed trade history, have a significant influence on the development of the market economies of the countries to the east of them.

GVH Public Service Communications Section

Further information:

Bálint Horváth, Head of Communication +36 20 238 6939

Katalin Gondolovics, Spokesperson +36 30 603 1170

Printable version in PDF