The founding members that have committed to funding the initiative for the first three years of operation include several states with a reputation in mediation and peacebuilding, such as Sweden, Finland and Belgium, and two of the self-styled "Visegrad Group" of countries, Hungary and Poland. The founders also include non-EU member states, including Switzerland. With the legal framework in place, the Institute is gearing up for its public launch, scheduled for May 2014.
Hungary became a Christian kingdom in A.D. 1000 and for many centuries served as a bulwark against Ottoman Turkish expansion in Europe. The kingdom eventually became part of the polyglot Austro-Hungarian Empire, which collapsed during World War I. The country fell under communist rule following World War II. In 1956, a revolt and an announced withdrawal from the Warsaw Pact were met with a massive military intervention by Moscow. Under the leadership of Janos Kadar in 1968, Hungary began liberalizing its economy, introducing so-called "Goulash Communism." Hungary held its first multiparty elections in 1990 and initiated a free market economy. It joined NATO in 1999 and the EU five years later. In 2011, Hungary assumed the six-month rotating presidency of the EU for the first time.