9th Meeting of Presidents of Central European Countries
  Meeting | Bilateral Relations | Republic of Hungary

News Releases
Bilateral Relations

Republic of Slovenia - Republic of Hungary


Slovenia and Hungary established diplomatic relations ten years ago, on 16 January. Since then, the two countries have shared similar goals at both the bilateral and multilateral levels. There is a regular exchange of experiences relating to becoming part of various forms of Euro-Atlantic integration. The most important international political project for both countries is full EU membership in 2004.

Hungary is Slovenia's open ally in the process of joining NATO. In 2001, Hungary publicly expressed its support for Slovenia's candidature and it is also willing to provide assistance with preparations for NATO membership. In this regard, there are regular consultations between the two foreign ministries and defence ministries.

Bilateral relations between Slovenia and Hungary are very good and are not burdened by any outstanding issues. The good neighbourly relations are reflected in the intensive political dialogue maintained by the two countries on all levels (7 March 2001 - official visit by Slovenia's Prime Minister Dr Drnovsek to Budapest; 8 May 2001 - official visit to Budapest by Slovenia's foreign minister Dr Rupel; 16 May 2001 - the opening of the Slovene-Hungarian railway line in Hodos attended by both Prime Ministers; 1 June 2001 - official visit by Dr Madl, the Hungarian President to Slovenia; 14 January 2002 - visit by Mr Martony, Hungary's foreign minister, to Slovenia on the occasion of a meeting of Slovenia's diplomatic corps; 28 March 2002 - a working visit by President Madl to Moravske Toplice on the occasion of the opening of the new Cepinci-Verica border crossing). The high level of bilateral co-operation between Slovenia and Hungary is also shown by the fact that a total of 58 bilateral agreements have been signed so far. The most important issues in the relationship are the protection of the two minorities, the building of transport links and the acceleration of economic co-operation.

With regard to the latter there are many as yet unexploited opportunities for the two economies, positioned in the transit area of the important fifth Pan-European transport corridor, to complement each other. Trade between the two countries has been growing since 1992, but has still not achieved its full potential. With regard to Slovenian exports, in 2001 Hungary was in 13th place with US$156 million (1.7% of total Slovenia's exports), while with regard to imports it was in the 5th place with US$314 million (3.1% of total of Slovenia's imports). The deficit in the exchange of goods is mainly the consequence of the larger import of Hungarian agricultural and food products. According to the data for 2000, Hungary's direct investments in Slovenia amounted to only US$6.7 million, while Slovenia invested US$4.5 million in Hungary. It is expected that the new agreement on avoiding double taxation, which is still in the process of being harmonised, will facilitate a greater flow of investments between Slovenia and Hungary.

Slovenia supports all road and railway projects aimed at improving transport links between the Port of Koper and Hungary. These links represent the natural and shortest route for Hungarian goods in oversees trade. With its 15% share of the business of the Port of Koper, Hungary is that port's second most important transit country (Hungary exports and imports nearly half of its overseas trade goods via the Port of Koper). Slovenia and Hungary are aware that the acceleration of economic co-operation is closely linked to the improvement of transport links between the two countries. The setting up of a direct railway and road link within the fifth Pan-European transport corridor is of importance to both countries. The railway line was open in June 2001 and represents a significant step forward, as Hungary was until then the only neighbouring country with which Slovenia had no direct railway link.

Slovenia and Hungary also co-operate closely in the areas of culture, education and science, and regular contacts between partner institutions, publishers and societies have been established. The foundation for this co-operation is the inter-governmental agreement on co-operation in education, culture and science for the period from 1999 to 2002. At the last meeting of the two ministers of culture, they agreed guest-appearances this year by the Slovenian Philharmonic in Hungary and the Hungarian National Opera in Slovenia.

Between 1995 and 1999, Slovenia and Hungary worked together successfully in a cross- border co-operation project under the PHARE programme. To date, co-operation has been based mainly on cross-border projects. The new approach since 2000 has been based on a joint programme document of cross-border co-operation for the period 2000 to 2006, the aim of which is the balanced development of border areas. The Slovene minority in Hungary and the Hungarian ethnic community in Slovenia, as well as the municipalities along the border are all interested in the possibility of a flow of persons and improved links between the two countries. On 28 March 2002, the President of the Republic of Slovenia Milan Kucan and the President of the Republic of Hungary Dr Ferenc Madl opened a new international border crossing at Cepinci-Verica. The new crossing will enable closer links between the Slovenes in Hungary and Slovenia and will make an important contribution to co-operation between and development of municipalities on both sides of the border. The opening marks the end of a ten-year project of opening new border crossings between the two countries.

Slovenia and Hungary protect the two minorities on the basis of the Agreement on Ensuring the Special Rights of the Slovene National Minority in the Republic of Hungary and the Hungarian National Community in the Republic of Slovenia, signed in 1992. The agreement represents a formal and legal base for a level of minority protection which is in line with all the standards of the Council of Europe European Convention on the protection of minorities, and which could serve as a model of bilateral protection of minorities.

There are regular annual meetings of the Mixed Slovene-Hungarian Commission for Monitoring the Agreement on Ensuring the Special Rights of the Slovene National Minority in the Republic of Hungary and the Hungarian National Community in the Republic of Slovenia at which are adopted proposals relating to how the two governments should regulate specific issues regarding the position of the two minorities.


Republic of Austria
Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Bulgaria
Republic of Croatia
Czech Republic
Federal Republic of Germany
Republic of Hungary
Republic of Italy
Republic of Macedonia
Republic of Moldova
Republic of Poland
Slovak Republic
Federal Republic of Yugoslavia