The draft Act on the Transparency of Organisations Supported from Abroad currently under adoption by Hungarian Parliament (Bill T/14967) has caused considerable concern among national and international NGOs.
The Conference of INGOs of the Council of Europe requested its Expert Council on NGO Law to issue a legal opinion that examines the compatibility of this Act with international standards and best practices, particularly the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR) and the Council of Europe's Recommendation (2007)14 on the Legal status of non-governmental organisations in Europe.
After this examination, the Expert Council opinion concluded that this Hungarian draft Act is “largely incompatible with international and European standards and would open the door to further acts of discrimination and/or vilification of civil society”. The expert Council added that “in terms of democracy, human rights and the rule of law - the core values of the Council of Europe - this Hungarian draft Act is flawed from start to finish” .
The Conference of INGOs is thus calling on the Hungarian authorities not to adopt this draft Act in the name of respect of freedom of association and to find strength to embrace the diversity of opinions that form the fabric of a democratic society.