June 25, 2008
Let me introduce you to the funniest MEP whom I ever became familiar with.
She is Alexandra Dobolyi, a member of the Socialist Group in the EP. She is Hungarian and delegated by the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP).
Sadly, she refrained from introducing herself to mankind for the first thirty-something years of her life, but to our joy and gladness she is now in her well-deserved place on the top of the Hall of Fame Leage.
Last year some interesting news appeared about her which was the first real light to shed on this unparalleled personality.
A journalist doing some background research on several Hungarian MEPs found that Mrs Dobolyi has several Cvs in the public domain which have many contradictory and in some cases rather unusual claims.
These sources included her own website, her personal site on the EP portal, and another one on the page of her party.
After trying to resolve the issue, the journalist searched for additional sources and he managed to find a bunch of articles. Mrs Dobolyi made some strange claims in these interviews, but first let’s figure out who is she.
She used to claim to have a Phd (usually of Sociology, but other times Human Manager and even andrology) but later she denied it. At that point a Hungarian daily presented her card, stating her as Dr. Alexandra Dobolyi.
She explained the situation: there was a mistake with the card printer, so the Foreign Office of the Socialist Party reissued her cards. Maybe someone could manage to get one of those wrong cards, that is how the newspaper could gather one.
So far so good. But then another journalist pointed to her own website, which also said: ‘This is the website of Dr. Alexandra Dobolyi.’
Not a big deal, Mrs Dobolyi was glad to explain what happened: she is only maintaining some parts of her own website, and this mistake is on the other part. She claimed that it is most natural she did not check what is published on her website, since she is very busy and did not have time for this sort of tasks.
To cut the story short, she had problems with her Msc and also with her Bsc degree. She incorrectly stated the time of her graduation, her degree and even the name of the institution.
During a 3 week period she had to address these issues daily during which she managed to contradict with her own claims made on the very same day.
She became really frustrated and told to a reporter that it is simply unbelievable for her that a journalist checks her CV. There must be some bad intentions behind it, even a political order.
The future Foreign Commissioner of the EU or just the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Hungary? – find out her ambitions below.
As more and more articles appeared about her CV more fun came up. She used to claim that she is a member of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs but it was easy to find out that apparently she is not.
Mrs Dobolyi is only a substitute to this Committee, but for her this ‘misunderstanding’ is quite straightforward: substitutes receive all reports and can sit in the meetings. The only difference between a member and a substitute is that when the member is present, the subsitute can not vote.
Knowing all these details really helps a lot to understand such a complex issue which seems quite paradox for the untrained eyes.
After many clarifications it became more and more hard to find someone in the country who would bet that she finished primary school at all.
This was the situation where she began to involve her family to the comedy. After her mother had to cast a role (‘consulting with my mum I realized, that I started University two years later then I thought’) she sent her husband to a newspaper – which did not follow her story closely – Népszabadság while she left for China to an amazingly important summit.
Just one word about Mrs Dobolyi’s husband. She refered to him in a previous interview that he ‘looked away from politics as one such is just enough in a family‘. It was not hard to nose out what this mean in real life: Mr Gábor Csobánczy was a member of a local government but lost his position during the next election. Well, this is quite a reason for ‘looking away’, isn’t it?
So Mr Csobánczy visited Népszabadság and he had the diploma of Mrs Dobolyi with him. This was supposed to put an end to the month long saga, but it turned out to be just another episode.
A journalist – who for some reason preferred not to use his/her name, only initials – wrote an article and put the faximile of her diploma online.
But in less then ten minutes the article disappeared. I was lucky enough to catch the documents and followed by some mysteriuos instincts I saved them.
Realizing that perhaps I’m the only one on Planet Earth who has this long-awaited document, I immidiately made a blogpost which received tens of thousands hits in hours. Actually it serves the need of hundreds per day still today.
She finally rectified her CVs which are now much sorter and some respect boring – if you let me – as they do not mention any more her former position as Head of Foreign Department somewhere, also it seems she managed to loose the freemanship of a district of Budapest, etc. As of today her CV shows a chronology which is available for the laymen, i.e. first a Bsc degree, after a Masters and only after that she started a Phd. She really looses some of her magic but the she tries hard to offset this with mighty magic.
Even nowadays this affair appears time to time in interviews. According to her, all this was a shameless attack on her, but no matter how hard they tried, she could manage to defend herself as she showed her diploma.
But this is just part of the story, her professional life is full of treasures as well. I now give the floor to Mrs Dobolyi to explain a whole lot of things from around the world to us:
China is mine… to be more precise, the relation between the European Union and the People’s Republic of China .
– On her duty in the EP
Well I only hope that the Chinese do not belive that in Europe you get your Phd first and if you are good enough you can attend to a secondary school.
I’ve been many times to Tibet, spoke to many Buddhist monks and against all the news they can get visas, they can travel to the Lama and they are allowed to teach the Tibetian language. To cut a long story short, Tibetians have a great life, the tensions are much lower.
– In an interview in May, 2007
It is not incidential, that foreign affairs is the field of diplomacy where women – let’s confess this – balance and move more neatly, than men.
Andfrom now on I’m a woman, and I use my charm absolutly… The president of the Foreign Committee is a man, so I smile on him of course, and I never look big with a grim. I catch his sight and get the right to speak immidiately.
I think this is a highly valuable insight to the daily life of parliamentarism in Europe.
Last thing you may want to know is how on Earth can such an entertaining person take the life of the boring, if powerful MEPs?
Mrs Dobolyi already answered to this:
It was when Mr László Kovács (now the Tax Commissioner, well worth another article) was already the Foreign Affairs Minister in Hungary – once a schoolmate of my father – when we met him at the market on Fény street. During the conversation he raised: if I can speak some languages well enough, why not deal with foreign affairs?
Ok, so you think that some language skills is enough to ‚have China‘. I’m afraid I have to disappoint you as plenty of skills are needed for this. I would suggest to learn from someone who really knows that:
Mrs Dobolyi explains a story which happened in South Africa. They just arrived to the corner of a black quarter of Cape Town when the taxi driver stopped and said he doesn’t dare to drive forward as anything can happen there. They were standing in a square surrounded by suspicious black men. They were smiling and were not afraid, sat in a bench and started to chat with the black men. In less then ten minutes all heavy guys of the infamous district appeared in front of them. Oh! Isn’t it fantastic? Really Hungarians? So the suspicion disappeared and they are friends since then.
Mrs Dobolyi has many more extraordinary insights to international politics, she bravely opens any can of worms put before her from a quick and safe solution to the Middle East crisis to some disgraceful minority issues of Hungarians in Romania and beyond.
One thing is sure, Mrs Dobolyi is keen to keep us entertained as she recently went into great length of her plans for the future.
‘As a mother I no longer have a chance to be the Secretary General of the U.N., but I have two paths open. First to lead the Foreign Committee of the EU, second to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs (of Hungary). It would only be a false modesty to say anything else for me as a foreign affairs specialist.’
She is certainly right. One thing which I can’t stand is false modesty.
ukridgeAuthor : ukridge