Plans to launch a new media empire called Central European Press and Media Foundation, KESMA (Hungarian abbreviation) would result in an unprecedented concentration of media outlets in Hungary. The Competition Authority (CA) was prevented from investigating the fusion by a decree of the Government declaring the deal of “national strategic importance in the public interest”. Since the fusion raises several doubts concerning its constitutionality, the HCLU turned to court.
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.
Last fall, the Open Government Partnership (OGP) adopted a new policy to help re-establish an environment for government and civil society collaboration, safeguarding the Open Government Declaration and to mitigate reputational risks to OGP. Today, members of Hungarian civil society, including representatives of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Transparency International Hungary and K-Monitor, as well as Sunlight’s international policy manager, a former employee of K-Monitor, called on the OGP Steering Committee to take action under the new policy and launch a thorough investigation into the situation in Hungary, with a special attention to the deterioration of the space for civil society.
The new Civil Code of Hungary entered into force in March 2014. Unfortunately, the authors of the law decided to sustain the traditional approach to legal capacity which preferred plenary and partial guardianship.