President Berset and Federal Councillor Cassis receive Hungary’s Prime Minister Orbán

Press releases, 21.11.2023

On Tuesday 21 November, federal councillors Alain Berset, president of the Swiss Confederation and Ignazio Cassis, head of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), received a courtesy visit from a delegation from Hungary headed by the country’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán. The exchange centred on bilateral relations, Switzerland's European policy objectives, Hungary's presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2024 and current international issues.

Both parties acknowledged the historically strong bilateral relations between Switzerland and Hungary, which are due in part to Switzerland's acceptance of 12,000 Hungarian refugees following the 1956 uprising. Trade relations were also mentioned; around 900 Swiss companies operate in Hungary, generating 29,000 jobs there. The Swiss delegation emphasised the importance of reliable and predictable conditions to encourage investment in the country.

A further topic was cooperation with Hungary, which is one of the recipients of the second Swiss contribution to selected EU countries. Vocational education and training, research and innovation are key aspects of this cooperation. Mr Berset explained that Switzerland attaches great importance to involving a range of stakeholders, in particular civil society, in the implementation of programmes and projects. With regard to European policy, the Swiss side reaffirmed its goal of stabilising and further developing the bilateral approach with the EU. The Hungarian presidency of the EU Council in the second half of 2024 was also discussed.

In discussions on current international issues, the topics included the situation in the Middle East and the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, with the Swiss delegation emphasising the importance of international humanitarian law and the role of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). In Switzerland's view, this is an important platform for maintaining dialogue with countries that do not share the same values with regard to the security architecture in Europe.

Further information:

Bilateral relations Switzerland–Hungary

Address for enquiries:

GS-FDHA Communication, Tel. +41 58 462 85 79,


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