Germany Critical About Hungary's Law on Foreign-Supported Organizations

© Photo : Andrew ShivaHungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary
Hungarian Parliament Building, Budapest, Hungary - Sputnik International
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Budapest's decision on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving funds from abroad puts it in the company of such countries as Russia, China and Israel, which consider "financing NGOs from abroad as a hostile act," according to Germany's Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer.

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BERLIN (Sputnik) — Berlin is carrying out a "critical dialogue" with Budapest over the latter's adoption of a law imposing strict conditions on non-governmental organizations (NGOs) receiving funds from abroad, Germany's Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the Hungarian parliament passed legislation requiring that NGOs receiving over 7.2 Hungarian forints ($26,512) in donations from abroad be registered as "foreign-supported organizations." The law stipulates sanctions to be imposed on the NGOs not abiding by the rule.

"We are currently in the critical dialogue with the Hungarian parliament on this and other bills," Schaefer said at a briefing.

The spokesman noted that for Berlin, "the free work of the NGOs and their protection was the important value," adding that the German authorities would carefully monitor the influence of the law on Hungary's civil society.

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Budapest's decision puts it in the company of such countries as Russia, China and Israel, which consider "financing NGOs from abroad as a hostile act," Schaefer added.

The Hungarian law on "foreign-supported organizations" is considered by critics to be aimed at curbing the development of civil society in the country. Particularly, prominent watchdog Amnesty International, that called the legislation an "assault on Hungarian civil society."

On June 2, the European Commission for Democracy through Law, referred to as the Venice Commission, ruled that the law had legitimate aims, but excessive obligations and disproportionate sanctions.

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