Government sends response to EC over infringement procedure

The Hungarian government considers the European Commission’s infringement procedure launched against Hungary’s law on the transparency of civil organisations as unfounded, in a formal response sent to the Commission on Tuesday, a justice ministry state secretary said.

The law orders NGOs to report financial support above 7.2 million forints (EUR 23,000) a year from donors outside of Hungary, and to specify the name and residence of foreign donors giving more than 500,000 forints, Pal Völner told a press briefing. The law has not violated any EU or international regulation, he said.

Völner noted that the EC had shortened the regular two-month deadline for Hungary to respond to its queries in connection with high-profile infringement procedure cases concerning the NGOs, the migrant resettlement scheme and the law on higher education.

He added that EC President Jean-Claude Juncker and Vice-President Frans Timmermans had both met American financier George Soros in Brussels, and Timmermans had even briefed Andras Fekete-Gyor, head of Momentum, a “tiny party we could easily call anarchist”, of the procedures. These moves have breached the EU law, which declares that EU bodies only hold talks with the member states’ governments rather than home policy players, he said.

The state secretary said speculations that the Hungarian government wants to follow Russia in listing foreign-funded press as foreign agents are false. “Hungary follows western examples, not Russian ones,” he said.

Source and photo: MTI

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