Hungary is situated in Central Europe at a latitude of 45–48 degrees North and a longitude of 16–22 degrees East. Two thirds of the country is a plain, while the rest is undulating terrain. Just 2% of Hungary’s land area is at an altitude of more than 400 metres. Kékestető is the only mountain peak higher than 1,000 metres.
The greatest rivers are the Danube (Duna) and the Tisza. The largest lake is the Balaton with a surface area of 596 sq. km. The climate of the Carpathian basin, in which Hungary is located, is basically continental. However, the geography of the country limits the impact of climatic and weather fronts, so that the territory of the country is very suitable for agriculture.
The country is poor in natural resources, and the use of available resources is far from satisfactory. There are still subscancial unexplored reserves, mainly in the field of med i cinal and geothermal waters.
On 23 October 1989, Hungary became a republic once again. This event was an integral part of the social and political restructuring that took place in 1989-90. Hungary became a democratic country with an economic system based on capital.
As an important step in this process, Hungary joined the NATO (on 12 March 1999), then signed the accession treaty in Athens (on 16 April 2003), and joined the European Union as a full-rights member as of 1 May 2004.