June 19th, 2017

Venice Commission: Hungary’s law on NGOs still raises concerns

The Hungarian law on foreign-funded NGOs, despite recent changes, still raises concerns, the Venice Commission said in an opinion published on Friday. The law, passed this week, only partly satisfies the Venice Commission’s earlier recommendations, the body said. The Commission acknowledged that the aim of ensuring transparency of civil society organisations in order to prevent undue foreign political influence, money laundering and terrorism-financing is, in principle, legitimate.

“However, the commission stressed that this legitimate aim may not be used to stigmatise NGOs or restrict their ability to carry out their activities. This effect would go beyond the legitimate aim of transparency,” the opinion said. The revised opinion showed that the broad exceptions to the application of the law, notably the recently added exception for national minority organisations, coupled with the negative rhetoric that continues to surround this matter, cast a doubt on the genuine aim pursued by the law.

It added that the obligation to mention foreign-funding on all press products of an NGO has been maintained, which is clearly disproportionate and unnecessary in a democratic society. “The commission also regretted that no public consultations were held prior to the final adoption of the law,” it said. “For these reasons, the Venice Commission found that the amendments adopted by parliament on 13 June are not sufficient to alleviate the concerns that the law causes disproportionate and unnecessary interference with freedom of expression and association, the right to privacy and freedom from discrimination”, the revised opinion showed.

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  • ViktorZorroban

    Hungary will not be a colony! F#ck Venice, Brussels, Strasbourg and Andorra la Vella!

  • pantanifan

    Another questionable Soros-funded project?

    index.hu/belfold/2017/06/20/soros_tizmilliokkal_segitette_lazar_legnagyobb_dobasat/

    According to index.hu this American speculator donated 1 million dollars to the Hungarian government after the red sludge disaster in 2010. He also met with the little-known mayor of Hódmezővásárhely, a Mr. Lázár János, and agreed to help with substantial funds for Mr. Lázár’s Roma Education Fund integration program…

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