wednesday, 14 june of 2017

Hungary approves strict regulations on foreign-funded NGOs

Hungary's parliament has approved a law imposing strict regulations on foreign-funded non-government organisations.

The new rules increase reporting requirements for the groups, which risk closure for non-compliance.

Critics say the move is a crackdown on independent voices and an attempt to stigmatise the organisations.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban has accused foreign-funded NGOs, in particular those supported by American billionaire George Soros, of domestic interference.

Groups receiving more than €24,000 ($26,000; £21,000) will have to register as "foreign-supported organisation".

Mr Orban's right-wing government says the measures aim at improving transparency and fighting money laundering and terrorism funding.

But the rules are seen as targeting Hungarian-born Mr Soros, who for decades has given away billions of dollars to promote a liberal, "open society" culture, and has founded the prestigious Central European University.

Mr Orban sees Mr Soros as an ideological enemy, and has declared a battle against liberalism. In April, parliament approved a bill that threatens to close the CEU.

(Published by BBC - June 13, 2017)

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