Response from Mr Orbán to Civil Society Europe on NGO law in Hungary

Mr Viktor Orbán, Prime Minister of Hungary, has written in response to Civil Society Europe letter sent together with the “Statement to Hungarian people and civil society organisations – we stand in solidarity with you!” signed by 519 civil society organisations across Europe.

In our letter we expressed concerns over  the Act amending the National Higher Education Act and the presentation of a draft bill on the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding stating that Civil Society Organisations should have the same right to operate freely and independently in fundraising and projects as prescribed in International Human rights law and also in line with article 11 of the EU Treaties. Furthermore we stressed that such legislation was also in breach of article 63 of the TFEU on free movement of Capital and not compliant with Directive 2015/849 on anti money laundering and terrorism financing and  if implemented would have a detrimental impact on civic space in Hungary. We also called on the Hungarian Government to repeal the legislation and withdraw the draft bill without further delay.

In his response Mr Orbán notes on the National Higher Education Act that “no one wants to close the University of George Soros, operating in Hungary”, but that “the debate between George Soros and the Hungarian Governement is not about the university, but about (his) activities in Central Europe and Hungary”… “the real issue is that George Soros and his NGOs want to dismantle Hungary’s border protection capabilities against migration..”. He adds that “Mr Soros has publicly announced that he wishes to help millions of migrants to come to Europe..”

On the draft bill on the transparency of organisations receiving foreign funding Mr Orbán stressed that “the purpose of the law is to ensure transparency and make the information necessary for the proper functioning of democracy accessible to all; just as it is in the United States”

Please find the full Response by Mr Viktor Orbán

Please find LetterMrOrban_ForeignFundedNGOs

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