​Joint Statement on Launch of Infringement Proceedings on Hungarian NGO Law

Liberties and Hungarian NGOs welcome the Commission's decision to launch infringement proceedings against Hungary, but we renew our call for a structural review of the retrogressive reforms that have taken place in Hungary since 2010.

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, Hungarian Helsinki Committee and Liberties welcome the decision of the European Commission to launch infringement proceedings against the government of Hungary with respect to the Law on the Transparency of Organisations Supported from Abroad (the NGO Law).

We reiterate our calls to the European Commission and the European Parliament made in our statement of 4 July 2017. We call on the European Commission to activate the framework on the rule of law in relation to Hungary, because infringement procedures alone are inadequate to redress the combined impact of retrogressive reforms that have taken place since 2010 on the state of democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law. We call on the European Parliament to proceed as expeditiously as possible to draw up a report with a view to triggering Article 7(1).

Independent NGOs are vital to the proper functioning of the democratic process, the implementation of fundamental rights and the maintenance of the rule of law. Yet NGOs face restrictions on their activities, funding cuts and attacks on their reputations in many Member States. As such, we urge the EU to take measures to support civil society organisations that promote the implementation of the EU’s fundamental values, such as the creation of a dedicated fund to provide operational grants, support litigation and watchdog activities and capacity building activities.

For media enquiries contact:

Israel Butler

Head of advocacy, Civil Liberties Union for Europe

Email: i.butler@liberties.eu

Telephone: +32 493 08 3738