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Jul 13, 2017

Hungary has one month to respond to EC infringement procedure over the law on transparency of foreign-funded NGOs

The EC said it has sent Hungary a letter of formal notice, which officially launches the procedure

Hungary has one month to respond to the European Commission's infringement procedure over the law on the transparency of foreign-funded NGOs.

The EC said it has sent Hungary a letter of formal notice, which officially launches the procedure. According to MTI, Hungary now has one month to respond to the commission’s concerns.

Hungary's law, requiring civil groups to register with a court as foreign-backed groups once their foreign donations reach 7.2 million HUF (23,400 EUR), was passed by parliament last month. European Union funds do not count towards the threshold specified in the outlined amendment.

The European Commission stepped up an infringement procedure against Hungary over amendments to its higher education law tightening rules governing the operations of foreign universities in the country.

The EC said it has sent the Hungarian government a reasoned opinion on the issue. Hungary now has one month to amend the law in question so that it complies with EU rules. If Hungary fails to address the EC’s concerns, the executive body could take the matter to the European Court of Justice.

What's more, in a surprise and unprecedented move by the European Parliament in May, left-wing MEPs voted to initiate Article 7 proceedings against Hungary.

Both the European Parliament and the European Commission have criticized Hungary over a number of issues including immigration, energy prices and their stance on NGOs.

According to the European Parliament, the situation in Hungary justifies the triggering of the procedure which may result in sanctions for Hungary. The 16-year-old law suggests that the offending nation could see its EU voting rights suspended and EU funds put under close surveillance.