Hungarians reject U.S. interference in domestic politics

The fact that the U.S. Embassy in Hungary posted a video on its Twitter page portraying leading pro-government politicians and various public opinion leaders in a negative light, and that U.S. Ambassador David Pressman had a confidential meeting with two Hungarian judges who are members of the National Judicial Council, caused a major storm in the Hungarian public discourse. A November poll by Századvég assessed what Hungarians think of the U.S. Embassy's involvement in Hungary’s internal affairs.

Diplomatic interference in internal affairs is prohibited by an international treaty

As a starting point, it is important to emphasise that the main source of diplomatic law is the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which has been ratified by both Hungary and the United States. The convention in question states that the purpose of its creation is to contribute to “the development of friendly relations between countries”, regardless of the “diversity of constitutional and social structures” of the States Parties.1

The 1961 Vienna Convention also provides for the obligations of diplomats. The law clearly states that

members of the diplomatic mission (including ambassadors) shall refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the host state,

and, instead of arbitrarily chosen bodies and officials, they shall conduct all official matters entrusted to the representation by the sending State with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the host State.2 It can therefore be concluded that

there is a clear set of rules, applied for decades, for the conduct of diplomatic activity and the conduct of diplomatic relations, which the States Parties to the convention have committed themselves to follow.

The United States cannot play a role in Hungarian domestic politics

Based on the research, it can be stated that the Hungarian electorate strongly opposes any attempt to interfere in Hungarian domestic politics in the relationship between Hungary and the United States. In contrast, an overwhelming majority supports the maintenance of friendly relations based on compliance with diplomatic rules. Accordingly,

more than three-quarters (76 percent) of Hungarians believe that the United States should maintain a relationship with Hungary that respects partnership and diplomatic rules and should refrain from interfering in the country's internal affairs.

The proportion of those who believe that the active role of the U.S. in Hungarian domestic politics is justified, and that the United States should criticise the Hungarian government if it deems it necessary, is estimated at 18 percent.


nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of the respondents disagree with the U.S. Embassy directly expressing an opinion on Hungarian domestic political issues,

while 31 percent would approve of this.


CATI method, n=1000, among the Hungarian adult population, data collection: November 2022

 [1] Preamble to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

 [2] Article 41(1-2) of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

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