In early June, the EFG Secretariat had the privilege of visiting the office of the Hungarian Geological Society (MFT) in Budapest. This visit provided an excellent opportunity for the EFG team to gain insight into the functioning and challenges of the Hungarian Geological Society while exploring potential avenues for future cooperation. The meeting was marked by fruitful discussions and the exchange of ideas between EFG and MFT representatives.

EFG Interim Director of Stakeholder Engagement Maureen Gallagher and Project Officer Tamás Miklovicz met with MFT’s Managing Director Emese Bodor, Norbert Zajzon and Olga Piros at the MFT premises in Budapest. Several MFT representatives and other EFG Secretariat members joined the meeting online.

The Hungarian Geological Society, established in 1848, is one of the oldest scientific organizations in Hungary and the second oldest Geological Society in Europe, with the Geological Society of London taking the top spot. Throughout its long history, the MFT has played a vital role in bringing together geoscience experts, promoting the development of applied and scientific research, and raising awareness among both professionals and the public, particularly the youth, in Hungary and the Carpathian basin.

During the meeting, the MFT team expressed their satisfaction in participating in several EU-funded projects as an EFG-Affiliated Entity. The collaboration between EFG and MFT on these initiatives not only strengthens the ties between both organisations but also fosters the advancement of geological sciences in Hungary. However, like many other EFG National Associations, MFT is facing challenges such as decreasing membership numbers, limited job opportunities, and a declining number of geology students. EFG remains committed to addressing these issues and has been actively involved in various awareness-raising projects, including the ENGIE project.

One topic of particular interest discussed during the visit was Hungary’s favourable geothermal potential. Geothermal energy has gained recognition as a sustainable and renewable energy source, and the MFT team shed light on the country’s geothermal resources and their potential contribution to the energy sector. This discussion highlighted the importance of collaboration between EFG and MFT in promoting the utilization of geothermal energy and harnessing its benefits.

After our visit at the Italian National Council for Professional Geologists (CNG) earlier in spring, the visit to MFT in Budapest offered the EFG Secretariat another unique opportunity to gain further insight into a different National Association structure and functioning. Despite the national differences, EFG’s National Associations share a common enthusiasm for supporting geologists at a national level and promoting the geological profession. Through these encounters, EFG strives to build a diverse and inclusive network of National Associations, fostering collaboration and exchange of best practices.

A few days later, at the EAGE Annual Conference, the EFG team, complemented by the new EFG President David Govoni, managed to organise a short meeting with Tivadar Tóth, President of the Hungarian Geological Society. During this meeting, we continued the discussion about the rich history of MFT, the common challenges faced by EFG and MFT, cooperation opportunities, and preparations for the upcoming 175th anniversary of the Society’s foundation.

From left to right: EFG Project Officer Tamás Miklovicz, MFT President Tivadar Toth, EFG Interim Director of Stakeholder Engagement Maureen Gallagher and EFG President David Govoni. 

We also take this opportunity to congratulate the Hungarian Geological Society on their 175th anniversary!