She is young, intelligent, erudite and an initiative woman. She is a diplomat of the new generation, fluent in several languages ​​- Bulgarian, English, French, Russian and Italian.

She knows well the West and the East, but best of all - Bulgaria. These are a few touches of H. E. Ms. Tekla Harangozó - the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Hungary in the Republic of Bulgaria, who presented her credentials in our country just a month ago - in September.

Fate connects her with Bulgaria. Born in 1979 in Budapest, she spent many years of her childhood - from 1986 to 1993, in Sofia, together with her family. Her higher education /1997-2002/ was at the famous Moscow State University for International Relations /MGIMO/, the School of International Relations with foreign language skills /Bulgarian, English, French/. Her thesis work is titled "Bulgaria's accession to the EU".

In Hungary, she began working in 2002 as an advisor in the Department of International Relations of the Ministry of Economy and Transport. Then from 2006 to 2011 she was the third secretary at the embassy in Moscow, responsible for foreign trade, and from 2011 to 2012 she was the First Secretary responsible for energy and infrastructure. In the period 2012 to 2016, in Budapest she occupies positions of responsibility in the Ministry of National Development, the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

- Your Excellency, 60 years have passed from the Hungarian revolution and the fight for freedom in 1956. What does the event mean for the Hungarian people from the bigger time-distance nowadays?

- The year is a Jubilee and the celebrations of the revolution are held in Hungary and abroad. In the collective memory of post-war Europe, 1956 is the year-symbol of freedom and the desire for independence.

The Hungarian Revolution of 1956 can be defined as one of the turning, heroic, but one of the darkest pages in the history of the Cold War. It was an unprecedented, spontaneous rebellion of a small but cohesive and heroic nation against a powerful empire.

This is obviously a fundamental event that leaves a lasting imprint on the character of the nation and its development after the collapse of communism and the collapse of the Eastern Bloc. Hungary demonstrated that there was an alert, active and brave civil society, able to unite around national causes, even when others tried to isolate or put pressure on it.

An example of that is the fact that in times of omnipresent conformism, it was possible to protect the age-old values ​​such as freedom, independence and the desire to manage your destiny alone. Values ​​that today’s Europe is consisted of and which should never be forgotten.

- How is the anniversary commemorated in Hungary?

- Every year serious commemorative ceremonies in connection with the revolution and the fight for freedom of the 1956th are held in Hungary. In 2016, in honour of the 60th anniversary, there will be even greater events, starting from the major Hungarian cities and moving to the smaller settlements, even to those on the other side of the boarders, and in general to any part of the world inhabited by Hungarians. The events will be so varied that they cannot be enumerated. There is a special coordination team for the celebrations. There is also an official website, where you can see all the important events related to the anniversary.

- In Sofia we see a major program on this occasion. Which are the main highlights in it?

- They are a few. On October 19 at Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" an event called “History Lesson" will be held. The research associate of the Institute of Political Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Dr. Ferenc Bodi will deliver a lecture entitled "Courage in politics. The revolution in 1956 - Mission Impossible" It is vital for the rational young people to be aware of the spirit of 1956, as even only because of their youth, they do not have enough information about these heroic events in the history of the Hungarian people.

The same day the exhibition "1956 - For Freedom and Independence" will open in the Hungarian Cultural Institute. It is bilingual and through it the museum "House of Terror" pays homage to the memory of the legendary "the boys of Pest". Mainly students and working youth took part in the armed battles sixty years ago. No matter if they consciously or unconsciously took the weapons, led by a sudden impulse, they were fully guided by the desire for freedom. Many of them were barely able to wear a gun, but with adolescent stubbornness they got armed to fight for freedom, for a life without fear and worries. Without the Budapest boys and girls, the revolution that broke out on October 23rd1956, would have quickly become a victim of political bargaining.

On 23 October at the Sofia Opera and Ballet and on 25 October at the House of Culture "Boris Hristov" in Plovdiv the Szeget Modern Ballet will present its two performances: "Dance Suite" and "Ritual".

"Dance Suite" is a short piece prepared especially for the 60th anniversary of the revolution. It recreates key moments of the heroic struggle for freedom of the Hungarian people and pays homage to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the independence.

"Ritual" is a philosophical-sounded work in two parts for the eternal life cycle, proving that the true, the full of raw power and faith life, will always find its way.

- Wreaths will be served at the memorial stone of Jordan Ruskov wall of the Hungarian Embassy. Is he the Bulgarian connection with the events?

- Despite the efforts of the totalitarian regimes to present it as a counter revolutionary and blamable act, the Hungarian revolution of 1956 had wide resonance not only in the west but also in countries of the former socialist camp. All open-minded people empathised with the struggle of the Hungarian people. Although forced to hide, the supporters of the revolution in Bulgaria were countless. One of them is the poet Jordan Ruskov. Inspired by it, he wrote the poem "Cry Freedom" and signed it with the pseudonym Rumen Drumev. For two years, the State Security had been searching for the author among many poets and writers. As a result, the poet Jordan Ruskov was arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison. In his memory the Hungarian State placed a memorial plaque on the wall of the embassy in Sofia in 2013.

- Today the European Union is restless - the refugee flow cannot be controlled, we saw the BREXIT in the UK, there is high unemployment among young Europeans... Where is the EU heading to in your opinion? Do you see decisions of the pressing problems?

- The fact is that today the European Union is at a crossroad. Series of crises that have occurred in the recent years - the financial, the migration, the so-called "BREXIT" and serious consequences that are felt in all Member States of the Union, have put on the agenda the need for strong leadership and a common vision of the direction in which the EU needs to move. In my opinion the presence of visionary leadership in the EU is the key in finding pragmatic solutions in the form of policies applicable in all Member States towards solving the economic, social and especially political issues facing our community. We need solidarity and a common understanding that the problems cannot be solved on a "piece rate". Solutions can be found if there is a consensus on basic concepts of a value-level and if we move in "multi-speeds".

- A meeting of the prime ministers of the countries of the "Visegrad Four" was held recently in Warsaw. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel was there. They offered quite specific solutions, what do you think the results will be? Will the other members comply with them?

- I'll start by saying that this meeting was particularly important in terms of the topics that were discussed with the German Chancellor Ms. Angela Merkel. The issue of security was the logical and justified focus of the discussions and proposals. In a situation of challenges in front of the EU security, related to the "belt of hot spots" near its borders, that create very powerful and polarizing effects such as migration, it is obvious that the need for this issue to dominate is clearly justified. This was the leitmotif of the Hungarian position in Warsaw. From the statements of the German side and personally of Ms. Merkel, who said that "Security is a major issue. We can do more in the field of defence and security together" we make the conclusion that our message was properly understood and accepted. We shall see how our proposals, including the ones to initiate the creation of a common EU army will be transformed into practical solutions. We recognize clearly that this is a "thorny issue" which is not accepted unequivocally by all member states, but hope for understanding and support. In Warsaw we have demonstrated in practice that solidarity and cohesion between Member States is possible in the presence of shared understandings about the value of our priorities and their prioritization. I am convinced that the effectiveness of this model is not limited only within the so-called “Extended Visegrad Four" and it is a working formula for the other European partners and I hope that the suggestions made in Warsaw, will be supported by a wider number of the EU Member States.

- You became recently an ambassador in our country. What were the bilateral relations between Bulgaria and Hungary that you found?

- Fortunately, we can say that our relations are excellent, they are not loaded with problematic issues. Our common historical destiny, the friendly relationship between our people and the good name of Bulgarians in our homeland greatly contribute to that.

- What would you like to improve in them? What your priorities will be?

- Our economic relations are developing well; the bilateral trade turnover for the first six months of 2016 increased by 12.1% per cent and reached 678.1 million euros. However, we have the intention to give a chance to other Hungarian investors to explore Bulgaria and to build closer contacts with potential Bulgarian partners in the future. Moreover, a number of Hungarian companies have and will participate in tenders for government contracts here. Let's hope that their offers and the needs of the Bulgarian entities will meet. The direct flights of Wizz Air between Sofia and Budapest that start from November will hopefully help the expansion of economic contacts. In November the Joint Hungarian-Bulgarian Economic Committee is expected to start its work.

Contacts in tourism have been developing intensively in recent years. Our goal is to awaken the interest of the Bulgarians to rediscover Hungary, its monuments, its natural beauty and its baths. For decades Bulgaria has been a preferred tourist destination for the Hungarians. Given the beauty of its great historic cities and its natural resources it is a pity that it is considered only as a seaside destination.

What I would like surely to mention is the cultural cooperation, the bridge that connects our people. The development of our relations in the field of culture and education is an opportunity for better understanding between the two countries. This will affect the cooperation between the now adolescent generations and it will in the future deepen our economic and political relations. In this sense, my goal will be to make as many Hungarian events here in Bulgaria accessible and attended as possible, and to promote the study and dissemination of the Hungarian language.

- How do you feel in this first month as ambassador in Bulgaria?

- Thank you for your question, last month was very rich in events. The very next week after presenting my credentials we welcomed in Bulgaria our Prime Minister Mr. Viktor Orbán, the President Mr. János Ader and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Péter Szijjártó. I think nothing could illustrate this well the intensity of our relations.

- And which places have you already visited, what more would you like to know about us?

- As in my childhood I have had the chance to live in Bulgaria for six years (my father was sent on a business trip here) I accepted the ambassadorial appointment with great joy and arrived with exciting expectation. The majority of the time I spent here was in Sofia, for a few days I was in Burgas, in connection with the visit of the Prime Minister, as well as Chiprovci on the 200th anniversary of Stefan Dunjov. Later I intend to get to know as many locations, valuable cultural and natural attractions as possible.

- In your personal life, how do you spend your free time, hobby, sport?

- My free time is usually spent with my family in the nature. The mountain ranges close to Sofia provide great opportunities for that. As I mentioned in my childhood I spent several years here - I learned to ski and did horse-riding, these are activities that I would like to include in the coming years, in our family program, during our free time.

Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Hungary in Bulgaria.