International solidarity with Hungarian NGOs

CROSOL – Croatian Platform for International Citizen Solidarity joined protests across Europe to support Hungarian NGOs. Reacting to the appeal of Amnesty International and 500 European associations under the umbrella of Civil Society Europe, Prime Minister Orban said that “Soros and its affiliates are trying to undermine the capabilities of the Hungarian state to protect its borders from migrants, and thus national security”.

After two postponed votes, today the Hungarian Parliament adopted the Law on the Transparency of Organisations Funded from Abroad. The law is in breach of Hungary’s Constitution and many international treaties ratified by Hungary because it unjustifiably restricts the right to freedom of association and freedom of expression and it also fail to address the major HYPERLINK “”concernsHYPERLINK “” of HYPERLINK “”theHYPERLINK “” HYPERLINK “”VeniceHYPERLINK “” HYPERLINK “”Commission.

The law is unnecessary because Hungarian civil society organisations are already transparent in their operations, provide accurate information about their donors and finances in annual reports and carry out their activities before the public. It is also stigmatising because it implies that organisations which work for the benefit of Hungarian society by receiving foreign grants for their work pose a threat to the country. It is also harmful because it undermines mutual trust in society and questions freedom of expression. 

There are reasons to fear that the law will not stop the governmental campaign to denounce Hungarian civil society organisations. On the contrary, this is a new step in a longer process that aims at fully discrediting civil society organisations. However, there can be no real democracy and civil liberties without independent and critical thinking and a strong civil society.

CROSOL and its member organisations stand in solidarity with Hungarian colleagues and civil society organisations. A protest action was held in front of the Hungarian Embassy in Zagreb in a failed attempt to submit a protest letter since the gates remained closed for activists.

Members of the Crosol Platform are: ADRA Croatia – The Adventist Development and Relief Agency, Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb, Autonomous Center ACT Čakovec, B.a.B.e. – Be active. Be emancipated., M.A.R.E. Centre: Model of Active Rehabilitation and Education, Center for Peace, Non-violence and Human Rights Osijek, Center for Peace Studies, Center for Women Studies, Association for Promotion of Human Rights and Media Freedom – Cenzura Plus Split, CESI – Center for Education, Counselling and Research, Humanitarian and Peace Organization Deša – Dubrovnik, Documenta – Center for Dealing with the Past, Domine – Split, Domino, Forum for Freedom of Education, GONG, Youth Initiative for Human Rights, Human Rights House, Institute for the Development of Education, MIRamiDA Centre, Youth Peace Group Danube, Croatian Youth Network , OBRIS – Defence and Security, ODRAZ – Sustainable Development of Community, Alliance of Associations Clubture, Serbian Democratic Forum, Association for Development of Civil Society SMART, Volunteer Center Zagreb, Green Action, Green Istria, Live Studio Dajht Kralj