There are now 144 embassies and consulates around the world, noted Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó upon opening Hungary’s consulate in Geneva on Tuesday. Hungary already has a consulate in Bern as well.
The minister said Geneva is partly the capital of Europe and partly the “capital” of the world, calling it the world’s diplomatic citadel in the 20th and present centuries. It is more than symbolic that Hungary is opening yet another consulate during the coronavirus epidemic, he added.
The city is home to the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Human Rights Council, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), among others. It is also HQ for many international organizations.
Szijjártó pointed out that many Hungarians live in Geneva not only because they can work for international organizations there, but also because the city had an outstanding Hungarian emigration center even during the Reformation as well as during the emigration waves of 1849 and 1956.
Currently, about 2,500 Hungarians have a residence permit in Geneva and in the three cantons belonging to the consular district, and there are about 2,000-2,500 Swiss citizens of Hungarian origin registered by the Hungarian authorities.
Switzerland is the 25th most important trading partner of Hungary and ranks 11th in terms of investments received by Hungary. A total of 825 Swiss companies provide a dependable livelihood for 30,000 Hungarian families.