Foreign relations of Hungary
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politics and government of
Hungary wields considerable influence in Central and Eastern Europe and is a middle power in international affairs. The foreign policy of Hungary is based on four basic commitments: to Atlantic co-operation, to European integration, to international development and to international law. The Hungarian economy is fairly open and relies strongly on international trade.
Hungary has been a member of the United Nations since December 1955 and member of European Union, the NATO, the OECD, the Visegrád Group, the WTO, the World Bank, the AIIB and the IMF. Hungary took on the presidency of the Council of the European Union for half a year in 2011 and the next will be in 2024. In 2015, Hungary was the fifth largest OECD Non-DAC donor of development aid in the world, which represents 0.13% of its Gross National Income, in this regard Hungary stands before Spain, Israel or Russia.
Hungary's capital city, Budapest is home to more than 100 embassies and representative bodies as an international political actor. Hungary hosts the main and regional headquarters of many international organizations as well, including European Institute of Innovation and Technology, European Police College, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Centre for Democratic Transition, Institute of International Education, International Labour Organization, International Organization for Migration, International Red Cross, Regional Environmental Center for Central and Eastern Europe, Danube Commission and even others.
Since 1989, Hungary's top foreign policy goal has been achieving integration into Western economic and security organizations. Hungary joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and has actively supported the IFOR and SFOR missions in Bosnia. Hungary since 1989 has also improved its often frosty neighborly relations by signing basic treaties with Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. These renounce all outstanding territorial claims and lay the foundation for constructive relations. However, the issue of ethnic Hungarian minority rights in Romania, Slovakia and Serbia periodically causes bilateral tensions to flare up. Hungary since 1989 has signed all of the OSCE documents, and served as the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office in 1997. Hungary's record of implementing CSCE Helsinki Final Act provisions, including those on reunification of divided families, remains among the best in Central and Eastern Europe.
Except for the short-lived neutrality declared by the anti-Soviet leader Imre Nagy in November 1956, Hungary's foreign policy generally followed the Soviet lead from 1947 to 1989. During the Communist period, Hungary maintained treaties of friendship, cooperation, and mutual assistance with the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic, Romania, and Bulgaria. It was one of the founding members of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact and Comecon, and it was the first central European country to withdraw from those organizations, now defunct. After 1989, Hungary oriented more towards the West, joined NATO in 1999 and the European Union in 2004. The policies of the Fidesz government since 2010 evoked criticism from the EU partners, the Council of Europe and Human Rights Watch because of a press and media law considered by some as anti-democratic and a new constitution that was feared to undermine the rule of law and human rights protection.
As with any country, Hungarian security attitudes are shaped largely by history and geography. For Hungary, this is a history of more than 400 years of domination by great powers—the Ottomans, the Habsburg dynasty, the Germans during World War II, and the Soviets during the Cold War—and a geography of regional instability and separation from Hungarian minorities living in neighboring countries. Hungary's foreign policy priorities, largely consistent since 1990, represent a direct response to these factors. Since 1990, Hungary's top foreign policy goal has been achieving integration into Western economic and security organizations. Hungary joined the Partnership for Peace program in 1994 and has actively supported the IFOR and SFOR missions in Bosnia. The Horn government achieved Hungary's most important foreign policy successes of the post-communist era by securing invitations to join both NATO and the European Union in 1997. Hungary became a member of NATO in 1999, and a member of the EU in 2004.
Hungary also has improved its often frosty neighborly relations by signing basic treaties with Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine. These renounce all outstanding territorial claims and lay the foundation for constructive relations. However, the issue of ethnic Hungarian minority rights in Slovakia and Romania periodically causes bilateral tensions to flare up. Hungary was a signatory to the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, has signed all of the CSCE/OSCE follow-on documents since 1989, and served as the OSCE's Chairman-in-Office in 1997. Hungary's record of implementing CSCE Helsinki Final Act provisions, including those on reunification of divided families, remains among the best in eastern Europe. Hungary has been a member of the United Nations since December 1955.
- The Gabčíkovo - Nagymaros Dams project
This involves Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and .was agreed on September 16, 1977 ("Budapest Treaty"). The treaty envisioned a cross-border barrage system between the towns Gabčíkovo, Czechoslovakia and Nagymaros, Hungary. After intensive campaign the project became widely hated as a symbol of the old communist regime. In 1989 Hungarian government decided to suspend it. In its sentence from September 1997, the International Court of Justice stated that both sides breached their obligation and that the 1977 Budapest Treaty is still valid. In 1998 the Slovak government turned to the International Court, demanding the Nagymaros part to be built. The international dispute is still not solved as of 2008.
Illicit drugs: Major trans-shipment point for Southwest Asian heroin and cannabis and transit point for South American cocaine destined for Western Europe; limited producer of precursor chemicals, particularly for amphetamines and methamphetamines
Refugee protection: The hungarian border barrier was built in 2015, and Hungary was criticized by other European countries for using tear gas and water cannons on refugees of the Syrian Civil War as they were – illegally – trying to pass the country.
Hungary and Central Asia
A number of Hungarian anthropologists and linguists have long had an interest in the Turkic peoples, fueled by the eastern origin of the Hungarians' ancestors. The Hungarian ethnomusicologist Bence Szabolcsi explained this motivation as follows: "Hungarians are the outermost branch leaning this way from age-old tree of the great Asian musical culture rooted in the souls of a variety of peoples living from China through Central Asia to the Black Sea".
Relations by region and country
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Albania||See Albania–Hungary relations|
|Austria||See Austria–Hungary relations
Austrian-Hungarian relations are the neighborly relations between Austria and Hungary, two member states of the European Union. Both countries have a long common history since the ruling dynasty of Austria, the Habsburgs, inherited the Hungarian throne in the 16th century. Both have been part of the now-defunct Austro-Hungarian Monarchy from 1867 to 1918. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1921, after their separation.
|Belarus||See Foreign relations of Belarus|
|Belgium||See Foreign relations of Belgium|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1992-04-10||See Bosnia and Herzegovina – Hungary relations|
|Bulgaria||1920||See Bulgaria–Hungary relations|
|Croatia||See Croatia–Hungary relations|
|Cyprus||See Foreign relations of Cyprus|
|Czech Republic||See Foreign relations of the Czech Republic|
|Denmark||See Denmark–Hungary relations|
|Estonia||See Foreign relations of Estonia|
|Finland||See Foreign relations of Finland|
|France||See France–Hungary relations|
|Georgia||See Foreign relations of Georgia|
|Germany||See Germany–Hungary relations|
|Greece||See Foreign relations of Greece|
Hungary recognized Montenegro shortly after their declaration of independence.
Hungary has an embassy in Podgorica.
Relations between the two states date back from the Middle Ages. Until the end of World War I, Transylvania, Banat, Crişana and Maramureş were part of the Kingdom of Hungary, after the war they became part of the Romanian territory.
|Serbia||1882-11-21||See Hungary–Serbia relations|
|Slovakia||1993||See Hungary–Slovakia relations|
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
|Iran||1939||See Hungary–Iran relations|
|Iraq||See Hungary–Iraq relations, Hungary–Kurdistan Region relations|
|Israel||See Hungary–Israel relations|
|Japan||See Hungary–Japan relations|
|Kazakhstan||1991||Hungary has an embassy in Astana, and in Almaty.
Kazakhstan has an embassy in Budapest.
|Malaysia||1969||See Hungary–Malaysia relations
|North Korea||See Hungary – North Korea relations
|People's Republic of China||1949-10-04||
|South Korea||1 February 1989||See Hungary – South Korea relations
|Sri Lanka||See Hungary – Sri Lanka relations
Sri Lanka has an embassy in Vienna, Austria that is accredited to Hungary and has a consul in Budapest Hungary maintains a consulate in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hungary contributed to relief after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, and has since stepped up aid to Sri Lanka.
|Thailand||1973-10-24||See Hungary–Thailand relations|
Rest of world
|Country||Formal Relations Began||Notes|
Hungary has an embassy in Brasília and a consulate general in São Paulo. The Hungarian Embassy in Brasília has consular jurisdiction over most of the Brazilian territory, except for the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, which fall under the jurisdiction of the Consulate General in São Paulo. Brazil has an embassy in Budapest. The Brazil-Hungary Cultural Agreement was signed in 1992, and ratified on January 12, 1996.
|Canada||See Foreign relations of Canada|
Both countries established diplomatic relations on 10 June 1975.
|Mexico||1901||See Hungary–Mexico relations
Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1901, during the time of Austria–Hungary. Diplomatic relations were suspended between 1941 and 1974. They were re-established on May 14, 1974.
|United States||1922||See Hungary–United States relations
Normal bilateral relations between Hungary and the U.S. were resumed in December 1945 when a U.S. ambassador was appointed and the embassy was re-opened.
In December 2010, the Fidesz government adopted a press and media law which threatens fines on media that engage in "unbalanced coverage". The law aroused criticism in the European Union as possibly "a direct threat to democracy".
In 2013, the government adopted a new constitution that modified several aspects of the institutional and legal framework in Hungary. These changes have been criticized by the Council of Europe, the European Union and Human Rights Watch as possibly undermining the rule of law and human rights protection.
- Azerbaijan–Hungary relations
- List of diplomatic missions in Hungary
- List of diplomatic missions of Hungary
- Visa requirements for Hungarian citizens
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