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13 Mar 2017

Lili Bayer, Politico

Hungary: Parliament likely to introduce restrictive legislation on foreign-funded NGOs

"Hungarian law targets Soros, foreign-backed NGOs", 7 Mar 2017

The Hungarian government is moving to limit the influence of nongovernmental organizations that promote democracy and the rule of law, seemingly buoyed by...Donald Trump’s election victory and the ascendance of the alt right... [P]arliament is expected to introduce legislation on foreign-funded NGOs. The...bill,...yet to be made public, will likely require groups to register how much funding they receive from foreign sources. The government argues [it] is intended to counter foreign meddling in the country’s politics. Critics contend it is just the latest move to restrict political freedom in a country where the ruling party already controls much of the media and judiciary...Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has long been critical of the Open Society and foreign-funded NGOs, but...attacks have intensified of late... “I began funding dissidents in countries that were under communist rule in the 1980s and helped seed the development of civil society organizations within the former Soviet empire,” Soros [who founded Open Society foundations said]... “Their goal is to hold governments accountable to their people, the majority of whom are motivated by the same impulse that led the fall of the Berlin Wall — the desire for freedom.”