A brief history of relations
Hungary was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Croatia in 1991. Establishment of diplomatic relations on ambassadorial level took place on 16 January 1992. The Hungarian-Croatian cooperation in several areas has become exemplary in the region. Key priorities of the cooperation for both countries include energy policy, defense, development of transport infrastructure, environmental protection and protection of minority rights. Hungary is the 4th largest investor in Croatia. Euro-Atlantic integration of Croatia was supported by Hungary from the very beginning. The Hungarian Parliament was the first to ratify Croatia's NATO accession. The Hungarian EU Presidency and Croatia shared the success of closing Croatia's accession negotiations with the EU on 30 June 2011. The Hungarian Parliament ratified the European Union Accession Treaty with Croatia on 13 January 2012.
High-level meetings are regular, the ministerial consultations are continuous. Bilateral relations are improved by several joint commissions and there is an active and extensive cooperation between the counties and frontier towns of the two countries.
Former President of Hungary Laszlo Solyom participated in the inauguration ceremony of the Croatian President Ivo Josipovic on 18 February 2010. Josipovic paid one of his first official visits to Budapest on 16 March 2010. Initiated by Budapest, the Hungarian-Croatian-Serbian trilateral meetings of the presidents continued on 16 April 16 2010 in Pecs. The Presidents reaffirmed their commitment regarding the EU integration of the region and regarding the protection of minority rights, and supported the establishment of the Danube-Drava-Mura Biosphere Reserve. At the invitation of the Speaker of the Croatian Sabor Luka Bebic, Pal Schmitt, as the Speaker of the Hungarian Parliament paid an official visit to Croatia on 13-14 July 2010. During the talks with the Speaker of the Sabor and with the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister the main topic was Croatia's EU accession process.
On October 1-2 2010 Pal Schmitt, as the President of Hungary paid another official visit to Croatia. On this occasion Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor and Speaker of the Sabor Luka Bebic received him as well. The Hungarian President also visited the Hungarology Department of the University of Zagreb. Together with the representatives of the Hungarian minority he laid wreath at the statue of the late Hungarian Prime Minister, Jozsef Antall. The president received the leaders of the cultural, religious and political organizations of the Hungarian minority and met the Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic.
On 29-30 September President Pál Schmitt received his Croatian counterpart Ivo Josipovic on an official visit in Budapest. Talks of the two heads of state focused on strengthening political, economic and cultural ties between Hungary and Croatia. In view of Croatia’s EU accession perspectives, Pál Schmitt and Ivo Josipovic also discussed possible means of cooperation within the European Union. As both countries are interested in the stability of the Western Balkans, the presidents touched upon the EU and NATO integration of the countries in the region, an issue that could be another area of cooperation for Croatia and Hungary.
Relations of Speakers of the Parliaments:
Speaker of the Sabor Luka Bebic paid an official visit to Hungary on 7 December 2010. His programme included meetings with Hungarian political leaders and representatives of the Croatian minority. The meetings focused on Croatia's EU accession process and the Hungarian EU presidency. Bebic expressed Croatia's gratitude to the Hungarian Parliament for the successful implementation of the twinning project aiming at supporting the Croatian Sabor in the process of preparations for EU accession. Later on the Speakers of the Parliaments continued the tradition of cross-border meetings. Recently two discussions took place, one on 8 June 2011 in Gornji Kneginec and on 12 December 2012 in Olgamajor. Bebic, as a section leader, took part in the Budapest initiated meeting of the Speakers of the Parliaments of the Western Balkan countries in September 2011.
Prime Ministerial Relations:
At the invitation of her counterpart Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor paid a working visit to Budapest on 22 July 2010. The Prime Ministers found bilateral relations excellent and reaffirmed the commitment to the strategic partnership of the two countries. During the visit an agreement was signed on building an oil and gas pipeline crossing the joint state border. The Hungarian-Croatian gas interconnector was handed over later on by Deputy Prime Minister Tibor Navracsics and Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor on 23 December 2011. Prime Minister Viktor Orban on the occasion of his visit to Zagreb on 8 February 2011 signed three intergovernmental agreements with his Croatian counterpart on strengthening of the energy cooperation. He met the Croatian governmental leaders of the accession talks and the delegation of the Croatian Democratic Community of Hungarians as well.
On 7 May Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received his new Croatian counterpart Zoran Milanovic on an official visit in Budapest. They reviewed the prospects and the opportunities of expanding the energy cooperation and agreed, that both Hungary and Croatia are interested in its strengthening. The Prime Ministers held talks about the possible participation of Hungary in the development of Croatian seaport in Rijeka, in the LNG terminal project and in the building of the railway between Rijeka and the Hungarian border. Both Prime Ministers emphasized the excellent Hungarian-Croatian relations in all areas and the unconditional bilateral cooperation. Zoran Milanovic thanked Hungary that it was among the first countries to ratify Croatia's EU Accession Treaty.
Relations of Ministers of Foreign Affairs:
Hungarian Foreign Minister János Martonyi, before his appointment, led informal talks with his partner Gordan Jandrokovic in Zagreb in May 2010 to review the possibilities of cooperation in the field of energy and economic relations. Practice of the acquisition of the dual-citizenship for trans-border national minorities was also touched upon. Foreign Minister Martonyi underlined that Croatia is an important economic partner for Hungary, and his aim is to strengthen the cooperation in all areas of bilateral relations. Key objective of his visit was to ensure that the new Hungarian government would support Croatia in every possible way to close its accession negotiations with the EU. On their formal meeting on 28 October 2010 in Budapest the foreign ministers stressed that bilateral relations are excellent and serve as a model of cooperation in the region. They agreed that the cooperation, particularly in the field of energy, should be deepened in the future, which serves the interest of both countries and the whole region as well.
At the invitation of Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister Janos Martonyi, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Vesna Pusic paid a formal visit to Budapest on 24 February 2012. The Croatian Foreign Minister was received by President Pal Schmitt and Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Justice and Public Administration Tibor Navracsics. Pusic held discussions with the representatives of the European Affairs Committee of the Hungarian Parliament and with the representatives of the Hungarian-Croatian section of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, and met the leaders of the Croatian minority living in Hungary. The Foreign Ministers appraised the outstanding relations between the two countries and emphasized that Croatia's EU accession opens new opportunities for both bilateral and regional cooperation. In the field of European affairs a great number of mutual interests appears as well. Pusic thanked Hungary for playing a leading role in Croatia's EU accession process during the Hungarian EU Presidency and regarding activities of the Hungarian Parliament as well. She called it significant that out of 27 Member States the Hungarian Parliament was among the first to ratify the Croatian Accession Treaty on 13 January.
Hungary was represented by Foreign Minister János Martonyi on the traditional Croatia Summits held in Dubrovnik in July 2010 and 2011.