US government expresses concern over Hungary’s foreign-funded NGO transparency law
The government of the United States expressed concern over Hungary’s new legislation on foreign-funded NGOs in a statement on Wednesday.
As we wrote, passed by parliament on Tuesday, the law requires civil groups receiving foreign donations above a certain threshold to register with a court as organisations funded from abroad.
In a statement, the US embassy said that the United States “is troubled” by the adoption of the legislation “that unfairly burdens a targeted group of Hungarian civil society organizations, many of which focus on fighting corruption and protecting human rights and civil liberties.”
“This new law, particularly in the context of government rhetoric portraying civil society organizations receiving foreign funding as acting against the interests of society, stigmatizes local organizations and will have a chilling effect on the ability of Hungarians to organize themselves and address their concerns to the government in a democratic manner,” it said.
The statement said that, if signed into law, the legislation will constitute a step backward from the principles of freedom of association and expression embodied in NATO, the EU, and the OSCE.
It called statements on the legislation being based on the US’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) false.
Source: MTI/US embassy