Foreign relations of Hungary


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.


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 member of NATO in 1999, and 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

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.[2] 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".[3]

After the dissolution of the USSR, this scholarly and cultural interest naturally led to Hungary's establishment of relations with the newly independent Central Asian states, in particular Kazakhstan. The Hungarian scholar Tibor Tot concluded, based on cultural and DNA evidence, that a certain subgroup of Kazakhs in Kostanay Province (known as the Madjars[4] or Turgay Magyars[5]) is the one Central Asian community with the closest genetic relation to the Hungarians. The news was enthusiastically met in official and diplomatic circles, and to celebrate this connection some events were held, including a Kazakh-Hungarian festival named "Meeting Across Centuries" (Russian: Встреча через века) that took place in 2007.[6]


Country Formal Relations Began Notes
  • Armenia is represented in Hungary through its embassy in Vienna (Austria) and an honorary consulate in Budapest.
  • Hungary is represented in Armenia through its embassy in Moscow (Russia) and an honorary consulate in Yerevan.[7]
  • There are around 15,000 people of Armenia descent living in Hungary.
 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.[8]
 Bulgaria 1920 See Bulgaria–Hungary relations
 Croatia See Foreign relations of Croatia
 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 Foreign relations of France
 Georgia See Foreign relations of Georgia
 Germany See Germany–Hungary relations
 Greece See Foreign relations of Greece
 Ireland 1976
 Kosovo Hungary recognized Kosovo on 19 March 2008.[16] Hungary has an embassy in Pristina.[17]
 Latvia 1921-07-21
 Malta 1964
 Montenegro Montenegro has an embassy in Budapest.[21]
 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.
 Poland Relations between the two states date back from the Middle Ages. For a long time, they enjoy traditional close friendship. Hungary has an embassy in Warsaw and 2 honorary consualtes (in Lódz and Poznan). Poland has an embassy in Budapest. Both countries are full members of NATO and of the European Union.
 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
 Slovenia See Hungary–Slovenia relations
 Spain 1938-01-13
 Sweden 1945-12-28
 United Kingdom 1920