L. Simon László

László L. Simon

Author, politician, member of the National Assembly

László L. Simon was born in 1972 in Székesfehérvár. He graduated from Teleki Blanka Grammar School (1990), and attended Eötvös Loránd University where he got a degree in teaching literature and history in 1996, and qualification as secondary school teacher of grammar and literature in 1998. He had also received Ph.D. scholarship at ELTE. Later he gained qualification in cultural management, and successfully accomplished the viticulture-and-oenology engineering course at the Károly Róbert University College, in Gyöngyös.

He has been an enthusiast of literature since his years at secondary school with a particular interest in Hungarian poetry. László L. Simon has been publishing his works since 1992 and founded the Young Writers’ Association (Fiatal Írók Szövetsége) together with his peers. He became the chairman of said association between 1998 and 2004. Afterwards, between 2004 and 2010 he worked for the Hungarian Writers’ Association (Magyar Írószövetség), helping the work of two exemplary chairmen, Márton Kalász and Géza Vasy.

His publications include poetry, essays and studies. He has a considerably long, two and a half decades worth of practice in editing: he was an editor of several well-known journals, such as Magyar Műhely and the head-columnist of Kortárs and for years the editor in chief of Szépirodalmi Figyelő. Currently he is a member of the editorial board of another quality journal, Kommentár. His poetry book, Japán hajtás received the Szép Magyar Könyv award at the Könyvhét book fair in 2008.

He is the editor of two scientific and a local history book series (Aktuális avantgárd, Underground expanzió and Velencei-tavi Könyvtár). More than a decade ago he founded the Hungarian Workshop Gallery (Magyar Műhely Galéria), which is one of the acclaimed locations of Budapest’s fine arts scene.

He had been a lecturer at Pázmány Péter Catholic University between 2005 and 2012 and has been an honorary associate professor at the University of Kaposvár since 2016. He has published 16 books so far. One of his books has been translated into Macedonian by the excellent poet and translator, Paskal Gilevski. For his literary accomplishments he received a Zsigmond Móricz fellowship in 2004 and an Attila József award in 2007.

As an expert on culture he mainly publishes writings on the situation of the domestic cultural institutions and the subject of culture financing. Beyond his work in the fields of literature and public life he began to actively participate in politics from 2006 as a candidate of Fidesz. Between 2006 and 2010 he served as a member of Fejér County’s council and as Chairman of the Committee on Education and Culture. Between 2009 and 2010 he served as a member of the Hungarian Radio Foundation’s advisory board. During the general elections of 2010 he was elected to the National Assembly in Fejér County. Since then he has been a representative of the Fidesz – Hungarian Civic Union in the National Assembly. From 2010 to 2012 and between February, 2013 and May, 2014 he served as Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee for Culture and Press Freedom. From 2011 to 2012 he functioned as the Chairman and between 2012 and 2014 as the Vice-Chairman of the National Cultural Fund. Beyond reforming the National Cultural Fund, he also started the Tamás Cseh Program (currently known as Hangfoglaló Könnyűzene Támogató Program) which is a state-fund given to popular music artists.

From June, 2012 to February, 2013 he served as Under-Secretary for Culture in the Ministry of Human Capacities, then between 2013 and 2014 he functioned as Governmental Commissioner working on the renovation of Budapest’s castle district, the Esterházy-Castle in Fertőd, and the Curia building in Budapest. His most acclaimed work as Commissioner was the renovation of the Castle Garden Bazaar.

On the 6th of April, 2014 he won a seat in the National Assembly from the list of the Fidesz-KDNP coalition. For a short time afterwards he was the Vice-Chairman of the Economic Committee, then for two years he served as General Parliamentary Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office as well as Under-Secretary for Cultural Heritage Protection and Significant Cultural Investments.

Several governmental programs’ development can be linked to his name amongst these are the National Hausmann Plan concerning Buda Castle, the National Castle and National Citadel Program which aimed to renew the cultural heritage of the rural areas of Hungary or the Floris Romer Plan which set out to aid and support the Hungarian cultural heritage abroad. László L. Simon is Chairman of the Inter-parliamentary Union’s Hungarian-South-Korean department, and Member of the Hungarian-Finno-Ugric and Hungarian-Japanese Friendship Departments.

The development of his closer home the area of Lake Velence is also important to him. The Foundation for the Lake Velence sub-region – which he founded in 2006 – has achieved many valuable developments in the region, for example the renovation and transformation of the Fisherman’s Castle in Kápolnásnyék into an artistic gallery.

Agriculture is an essential part of his life. Their family company – currently managed by his wife – was founded in 1992 by his parents. The family’s winery enterprise has also achieved multiple successes. László L. Simon has been part of the county board of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture since their second parliamentary cycle and is also active in the county’s hunting scene.  Between October 2017 and May 2018, he was the Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Agriculture.

In 2018 he was elected to parliament as candidate of the Fidesz-KDNP coalition for the third time. Currently he’s the Vice Chairman of the National Assembly’s Committee on Culture.

László L. Simon is married. He lives with his wife and their four children in Agárd.