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Jun 09, 2017

Hungary agrees to amend government-initiated bill on the transparency of civil organizations financed from abroad

The Venice Commission does not doubt the legitimacy of the bill and had acknowledged that creating a transparent state of affairs concerning NGOs funded from abroad was a legitimate objective for parliament

Hungary has agreed to amend the government-initiated bill on the transparency of civic organizations financed from abroad following concerns raised by the Venice Commission.

János Lázár, head of the Prime Minister’s Office, said the cabinet had heard Justice Minister László Trócsányi on the matter on Wednesday and had taken his advice to accept the commission’s recommendations regarding the legal aspects of the bill.

He added that the government, however, rejected recommendations concerning the bill’s political aspects. 

Lázár stressed that the Venice Commission does not doubt the legitimacy of the bill and had acknowledged that creating a transparent state of affairs concerning NGOs funded from abroad was a legitimate objective for parliament. 

The minister said the amended bill will only take into account financial support received from abroad in one fiscal year instead of three when determining if an NGO is eligible for deregistration as a foreign-backed group.

Lázár said the government is prepared to hold talks with the New York state government on the situation of Budapest’s Central European University at the end of June. The Hungarian government will be represented in the talks by Kristóf Altusz, the prime ministerial commissioner charged to manage the issue.