On 18 January 2018, the Hungarian government launched the ‘Stop Soros’ package, a proposal of three laws that target civil society organisations.
The undersigned civil society organisations from Hungary wish to draw the attention of the Organisation for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to the alarmingly shrinking civic space for civil society and the growing obstacles faced by human rights defenders in Hungary.
On Tuesday, 13 June, after two postponed votes, the Hungarian Parliament adopted the Law on the Transparency of Foreign Funded Organisations. The community of civil society organisations united in the Civilizáció campaign continue to believe that the law is unnecessary, stigmatising and harmful.
The Hungarian parliament is to adapt a law based on the Russian and Israeli model, which aims to accuse and stigmatise NGOs operating independently from the Hungarian government, alleging that they represent foreign interests. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) – as one of the targets of the proposed legalisation -, a legal aid organisation working on ensuring political rights and freedoms - wishes to communicate the following to the public.
The past few weeks have been full of the word “pseudo-NGO”. The government and leaders of the governing party have declared organisations critical of them “pseudo-NGOs”. According to more moderate views, they should be much more transparent than they are now, while according to more radical views, they should be completely eliminated. Those who do not agree with these politicians have retorted that it is in fact the foundations, associations and other professional platforms close to the government who are the real pseudo-NGOs. It is well-settled what it means to be an NGO. The definition of a pseudo-NGO, on the other hand, has not been fully explained. This expression is used in various contexts in the current debate. Let’s look at the typology of pseudo-NGOs!
Members of the Civil Liberties Committee will discuss the fundamental rights situation in Hungary with Justice Minister László Trócsányi and civil society representatives on Monday afternoon. Read the full speech of HCLU's Executive director, Stefánia Kapronczay.