On June 10, 2009, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Foreign Minister Peter Balazs of Hungary signed the Protocols of Exchange of Instruments of Ratification for 2005 protocols to the bilateral Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties between Hungary and the United States.
In 2003, the United States and the European Union signed agreements modernizing transatlantic law enforcement cooperation in the areas of extradition and mutual legal assistance (i.e., obtaining evidence for judicial proceedings). The United States subsequently signed bilateral instruments with all EU member states, including with Hungary in 2005, to effect the changes agreed with the EU itself. In the fall of 2008, the U.S. Senate gave advice and consent to, and the President ratified, the entire set of agreements. Hungary has completed its domestic approval procedures, so an exchange of instruments of ratification – the final bilateral step in the process – now may take place. Actual entry into force of the agreements with Hungary, however, can only happen after the umbrella agreements with the EU enter into force, a step awaiting action by parliaments in two EU member states.