The events of 1956 continue to have a significant influence on relations between Switzerland and Hungary. Following the failed uprising against Soviet communism, around 12’000 Hungarian refugees found asylum in Switzerland.
Key aspects of diplomatic relations
The two countries foster close diplomatic relations. The focus is on cooperation in connection with Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement-related projects in Hungary.
Hungary is Switzerland's third most important trading partner in Central Europe. In 2013, Swiss direct investment amounted to EUR 2.1 billion, which corresponds to 2.7% of all foreign direct investment in Hungary. This places Switzerland seventh among foreign direct investors in the country.
Cooperation in education and training
From its enlargement contribution Switzerland has funded a scientific partnership programme between the German-speaking Andrássy University and the University of St Gallen, as well as a scholarship programme to allow Hungarian scientists to work at Swiss universities.
Scholars and artists from Hungary can apply to the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI for Swiss Government Excellence Scholarships.
Switzerland’s contribution to the enlarged EU
Hungary is one of the countries to benefit from Switzerland's contribution to EU enlargement, receiving around CHF 131 million in support for the five-year period from June 2007 to June 2012. Project grant payments will continue until 2017.
Swiss nationals in Hungary
At the end of 2014, there were 1,983 Swiss citizens living in Hungary.
History of bilateral relations
In 2000, Switzerland was the first European country to recognise the Hungarian identity card as a travel document.
Diplomatic relations between Switzerland and Hungary were suspended after the end of the Second World War in 1945, but re-established a year later. Relations cooled as Hungary became a people's communist republic under the influence of the Soviet Union.
When Soviet troops crushed a Hungarian revolution against communism in 1956, Switzerland showed its solidarity with the Hungarian people by accepting around 12’000 Hungarian refugees and sending aid consignments to the country.