Just as he unexpectedly abolished the possibility of anonymous donations, so suddenly the government withdrew its own decision. According to NGOs, the danger has not passed.
There was no visible sign of an amendment to the decree, which in principle came into force on 1 July, the day after the law was published: the government made it mandatory for NGOs to disclose from whom they receive how much support. This eliminates anonymous donations. The new regulation did not contain a limit, the verdict also applied to the smallest offers. More than 110 organizations joined the petition of civilians protesting against the government’s move. According to their resolution, the government is disregarding the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union last June, which cut off civil law stigmatizing “foreign-aided organizations.” The regulation restricts a number of fundamental rights, violates freedom of association, Previously, the government had not only consulted with them, but also with Attila Péterfalvi, the chairman of the data protection authority. makes the management of non-governmental organizations known and transparent to everyone “- the Prime Minister argued in favor of this decision. It was not long afterwards that Balázs Orbán, the Secretary of State of the Prime Minister’s will: under the HUF 500,000 grant, the bidders can still remain anonymous.
“We do not create rights in the Facebook post”
– Stefánia Kapronczay, Managing Director of the Society for Freedoms (HCLU), objected to the procedure.
According to him, this shows that “what is going on here is not legislation”. Áron Demeter, program manager of Amnesty International Hungary, said that the inclusion of the 500,000 limit would not solve the main problem either: the regulation would still be suitable to deter supporters. We wanted to know from Balázs Orbán whether his Facebook communication could be considered the official position of the government, and if so, the reason why the government wanted to change the recently amended decree. We also asked whether the legislation that needed to be amended in such a short time could be called properly prepared. We did not get answer. At the request of the RTL Club, Gergely Gulyás, the head of the Prime Minister’s Office, even spoke at the government information on 7 July that NGOs would only have to disclose the names of donors above a certain amount. He stated that the new civil law was in line with the ruling of the Court of Justice of the European Union, but that the regulation in question was unfortunately not: that is why another amendment was needed. At the question of Népszava, he admitted that they had made a mistake, so they take responsibility – he personally takes it too -. In comparison, the government did not include any amount limit, but withdrew its protest-provoking decree with noble simplicity – hvg.hu noticed in the Hungarian Gazette on the evening of Friday, July 16. However, we cannot take poison that this was the last turn in the matter. “The aim of the government is to create a donation environment that makes the management of non-governmental organizations familiar and transparent to everyone,” the Prime Minister’s Office repeated literally to ATV News on Saturday, as it had previously written for our paper. Amnesty International Hungary commented on the community page about the news of the repeal of the regulation.
We can honestly be pleased that “there is less by an anti-civil law”, but there are still three laws in force that “have been brought specifically against independent NGOs in recent years”.
According to Amnesty, the government has not given up on continuing to make every effort to make it impossible for organizations it does not like. Márta Pardavi, co-chair of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, emphasized to Népszava that the government is expected to support, not hinder, the exercise of their fundamental rights. The HCLU put it to our question: it issues a certificate of notorious governance that notoriously fails to consult with stakeholders, that the provision had to be withdrawn in its entirety after two weeks. The HCLU also warns that before we are too happy about the repeal of the decree, it must also be seen that the government has not given up its efforts to silence NGOs that criticize its decisions.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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