János Martonyi

János Martonyi (born in Kolozsvár, Hungary (today Cluj-Napoca, Romania), 5 April 1944) is a Hungarian politician, who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2002 and from 2010 to 2014. He is a member of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union party. He was part of the Amato Group that unofficially drafted a new treaty for the European Union after the European Constitution was rejected by the French and Dutch voters.

János Martonyi
Martonyi-János Portrait.jpg
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary
In office
29 May 2010 – 6 June 2014
Preceded byPéter Balázs
Succeeded byTibor Navracsics
In office
8 July 1998 – 27 May 2002
Preceded byLászló Kovács
Succeeded byLászló Kovács
Personal details
Born (1944-04-05) 5 April 1944 (age 77)
Kolozsvár, Kingdom of Hungary
Political partyMSZMP, Fidesz
Spouse(s)Dr. Rozália Rábai
Professiondiplomat, lawyer, politician

He was a member of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (MSZMP) which he entered in 1988, which later he declared as a personal mistake.

János Martonyi (right) with George W. Bush and Viktor Orbán in the White House.

On 29 May 2010 he was reappointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs. His most prominent tasks were the development of a strong and effective foreign policy, and planning for Hungarian Presidency of the European Union from January to July 2011. He visited Slovakia before his inauguration on the occasion of the passing of the Hungarian law allowing citizenship to be given to Hungarians living in neighboring countries. The Slovak government has considered the new law to be an aggressive move, with insufficient negotiation between the two countries. Martonyi said that hysteria in Slovakia is a result of the election campaign there.

Martonyi's foreign policy's motto was a quote from 17th-century poet Miklós Zrínyi: "Don't hurt the Hungarian!"

His first visit abroad was to Serbia. Martonyi mentioned the improved relations between the two countries. He said that Hungary has to help Serbia join the European Union. Martonyi met Vuk Jeremić who said the Hungarian EU Presidency will be very important for the integration of the Western Balkan countries. The Hungarian foreign minister also met Prime Minister Mirko Cvetković and President Boris Tadić.

At the end of the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union he said "the past six months of Hungary’s EU presidency demonstrated that Europe was able to function and react to challenges, even if sometimes slowly and unevenly". Martonyi noted that number of integration issues has resolved during EU presidency, including EU enlargement, the approval of the Roma Framework Strategy and the Danube Strategy, completion of accession negotiations with Croatia, as well as progress towards the admission of Romania and Bulgaria to the Schengen zone.[2]

Martonyi is a member of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts.


Political offices
Preceded by
László Kovács
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
László Kovács
Preceded by
Péter Balázs
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Tibor Navracsics
Preceded by
Steven Vanackere
President of the Council of the European Union
Succeeded by
Radosław Sikorski