Civil Society Europe shared its concerns with the European Commission in a letter to First Vice President Timmermans on the continued dererioration of fundamental freedoms and civic space in Europe and in Hungary in particular.
CSE is particularly concerned about the draft bill on “transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding” presented last Friday at the Hungarian Parliament, which would limit the freedom of assembly, registration and expression of organisations that receive funding from non hungarian sources. This is contrary to established law and practice accross Europe as well as best practice of the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights which states that associations should have the right to operate freely and independently un fundraising and projects. The proposed obligation for civil society organisations receiving foreign funding over a limited threshold to register separately and include a mention “foreign-funded” on their website is discriminatory and aims at tarnishing the reputation of civil society organisations which are portrayed as a threat to hungarians.
CSE has also addressed similar concerns on the bill targeting the Central European University in Budapest endagering education, reasearch and academic freedom as well as recent legislation on asylum seekers.
CSE calls on the Commission to take appropriate action to defend European values in Hungary and elsewhere where civic space and fundamental rights are under attack.
Please find the full text of the letter here.
Please also find our briefing on the situation of civic and fundamental rights in Hungary