Foreign relations of Hungary

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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.

On March 19, 2008 Hungary recognized Kosovo as an independent country.[1]

Disputes – international: Ongoing Gabčíkovo - Nagymaros Dams dispute with Slovakia

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 - illegaly - trying to pass the country.[2][3]

Hungary and Central Asia[edit]

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.[4] 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".[5]

Relations by region and country[edit]


Country Formal Relations Began Notes

See Armenia–Hungary relations


Austria-Hungary supported Albanian Declaration of Independence in 1912.

  • Albania has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Tirana.
 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
  • Hungary recognized Bosnia and Herzegovina’s independence on April 9, 1992.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Sarajevo.[7]
 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
 Ireland 1976

Hungary recognized Kosovo on 19 March 2008.[16] Hungary has an embassy in Pristina.[17]

 Latvia 1921-07-21
 Malta 1964

Hungary recognized Montenegro shortly after their declaration of independence.

Montenegro has an embassy in Budapest.[21]

Hungary has an embassy in Podgorica.

 Norway 1920
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in 1920, but diplomatic representations were set up only in 1947-1948.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Oslo and 2 honorary consulates (in Stavanger and Sarpsborg).[24]
  • Norway has an embassy in Budapest.[25]
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.

See Hungary-Poland relations

 Portugal 1974-07-01
 Romania 1920

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
 Spain 1938-01-13
 Sweden 1945-12-28
Memorial to Hungarian freedom fighters of 1848-1849 at Protestant Cemetery in Şişli, Istanbul.
 United Kingdom 1920


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Indonesia 1955
 Iran 1939 See Hungary–Iran relations
 Iraq See Hungary–Iraq 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
 Mongolia 1959-05-29
 North Korea See Hungary – North Korea relations
  • Relations between the two countries existed since the Korean War, but however have evolved into conflicts.
 Pakistan 1965-11-26
 People's Republic of China 1949-10-04
  • Hungary has an embassy in Beijing and general consulates in Hong Kong and Shanghai.
  • China has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Officials from Hungary regularly visit China on trade missions, a factor that helped enabled the buyout of distressed Hungarian chemical maker Borsodchem by the Chinese company Wanhua Group.[53]
 South Korea 1 February 1989[54] 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[57] and has a consul in Budapest[58] Hungary maintains a consulate in Colombo, Sri Lanka.[59] Hungary contributed to relief after the 2004 Tsunami, and has since stepped up aid to Sri Lanka.[60]

 Thailand 1973-10-24 See Hungary–Thailand relations
 Vietnam 1950-02-03

Rest of world[edit]

Country Formal Relations Began Notes
 Australia 1972
 Brazil See Brazil–Hungary relations

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
 Colombia 1973
  • Colombia is represented in Hungary through its embassy in Vienna (Austria).
  • Hungary counts with an honorary consulate in Bogotá.
 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.

  • Hungary has an embassy in Morocco. Morocco has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Latifa Akharbach, the Morocco's under-secretary of Minister of Foreign Affairs visited Hungary in 2007.
 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.

Foreign criticism[edit]

In December 2010, the Fidesz government adopted a press and media law which threatens fines on media that engage in "unbalanced coverage".[72] The law aroused criticism in the European Union as possibly "a direct threat to democracy".[72]

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.[73]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Croatia and Hungary recognize Kosovo". The Associated Press. International Herald Tribune. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-09-21. 
  2. ^ Hungary border crackdown, The Guardian 16 September 2015
  3. ^ Hungarian police spary tear gas water cannons at migrants, CBS news 16 September 2015
  4. ^ Róna-Tas, András (1999). Hungarians and Europe in the early Middle Ages: an introduction to early Hungarian history. Central European University Press. pp. 409–410. ISBN 963-9116-48-3. 
  5. ^ ipos, János Kazakh Folksongs from the Two Ends of the Steppe
  6. ^ Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: direction of the Hungarian honorary consulate in Yerevan
  7. ^ Hungarian embassy in Sarajevo (in Hungarian only)
  8. ^ Bulgarian embassy in Budapest
  9. ^ Hungarian embassy in Sofia (in Bulgarian and Hungarian only)
  10. ^ Hungarian embassy in Dublin
  11. ^ Irish embassy in Budapest
  12. ^ "CSO Emigration" (PDF). Census Office Ireland. Retrieved 26 July 2013. 
  13. ^ Hungarian embassy in Rome (in Hungarian and Italian only)
  14. ^ Hungarian general consulate in Milan (in Hungarian and Italian only)
  15. ^ Italian embassy in Budapest (in Hungarian and Italian only)
  16. ^ "Hungary recognizes Kosovo's Independence". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. 2008-03-19. Retrieved 2008-03-19. 
  17. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Hungary in Pristina". Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 2008-06-27. 
  18. ^ Hungarian embassy in Riga (in Hungarian and Latvian only)
  19. ^ Hungarian embassy in Vilnius (in Hungarian only)
  20. ^ Dizaino Kryptis. "Lietuvos Respublikos užsienio reikalų ministerija - Lietuvos Respublikos užsienio reikalų ministerija". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  21. ^ Montenegro office and relation with Hungary
  22. ^ Dutch embassy in Budapest
  23. ^ Hungarian embassy in The Hague
  24. ^ Hungarian embassy in Oslo
  25. ^ "Norvégia - hivatalos honlapja Magyarországon". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  26. ^ Hungarian embassy in Lisbon
  27. ^ "Jay E. Peterson". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  28. ^ Hungarian embassy in Ljubljana (in Hungarian and Slovenian only)
  29. ^ "Embassy of the RS Budapest". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  30. ^ Hungarian embassy in Madrid (in Hungarian and Spanish only)
  31. ^ Hungarian general consulate in Barcelona (in Hungarian, Catalan and Spanish only)
  32. ^ "เล่นคาสิโนออนไลน์ 24 ชั่วโมงผ่านบาคาร่าไม่มีวันหยุด". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  33. ^ "Kan醨i-szigetek Tiszteletbeli Magyar Konzul醫usa - Consulado Honorario de la Rep鷅lica de Hugr韆 de las Islas Canarias". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  34. ^ Spanish embassy in Budapest (in Spanish only)
  35. ^ "Embassy of Hungary in Turkey". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  36. ^ "Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Bükreş Büyükelçiliği". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  37. ^ Hungarian embassy in Kiev
  38. ^ Hungarian consulate general in Uzhhorod (in Hungarian and Ukrainian only)
  39. ^ "Посольство України в Угорщині". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  40. ^ Hungarian embassy in London
  41. ^ "UK and Hungary". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  42. ^ a b Bilateral relations between Hungary and Indonesia
  43. ^ "Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  44. ^ Hungarian embassy in Tehran
  45. ^ "New Web Site". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  46. ^ Hungarian embassy in Amman (also accredited to Iraq)
  47. ^ Hungarian embassy in Tel Aviv
  48. ^ "Error-2010-f3". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  49. ^ Hungarian embassy in Tokyo
  50. ^ "在ハンガリー日本国大使館". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  51. ^ Hungarian embassy in Islamabad
  52. ^ Pakistani embassy in Budapest
  53. ^ "CEE Needs to Play the Asia Card". Euromoney. May 4, 2011. 
  54. ^ a b
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^ "Embassy and Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka". Sri Lankan Embassy in Vienna. Archived from the original on May 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  58. ^ "List of honorary consuls in Hungary" (in Hungarian). Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  59. ^ "Consulate of the Republic of Hungary". Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  60. ^ "Bilateral Relations (Sri Lanka)". Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Hungary. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  61. ^ Hungarian embassy in Bangkok
  62. ^ Thai embassy in Budapest
  63. ^ Thailand's embassy in Budapest
  64. ^ "สถานเอกอัครราชทูต ณ กรุงบูดาเปสต์". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  65. ^ Hungarian embassy in Hanoi
  66. ^ Commonwealth of Australia. "About the Australian Embassy in Hungary". Retrieved 23 December 2008. 
  67. ^ Hungarian consulate general in Sydney
  68. ^ Embassy of Hungary in Mexico City (in English and Spanish)
  69. ^ "Bienvenidos a la portada". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  70. ^ "Magyar Nagykövetség - Washington DC". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  71. ^ "Home - Embassy of the United States Budapest, Hungary". Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  72. ^ a b ‘The New Press and Media Act in Hungary’ (concerning the December 2010 law), by Kai Ekholm and Tarja Svärd-Ylilehto., 5 October 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  73. ^ "Hungary: Constitutional Change Falls Short". 18 September 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Borhi, László, “In the Power Arena: U.S.-Hungarian Relations, 1942–1989,” The Hungarian Quarterly (Budapest), 51 (Summer 2010), pp 67–81.
  • Glant, Tibor, “Ninety Years of United States-Hungarian Relations,” Eger Journal of American Studies, 13 (2012), pp 163–83.
  • Hornyak, Arpad. Hungarian-Yugoslav Diplomatic Relations, 1918-1927 (East European Monographs, distributed by Columbia University Press; 2013) 426 pages