Your recent article on Hungarian NGOs (https://www.yahoo.com/news/hungary-may-force-ngos-report-foreign-funding-173724961.html) is in my view, as a Hungarian, misleading. Whilst you do quote the relevant communication by the Fidesz party, accurately, saying that NGOs will have to declare foreign funding or force suspension under a proposal to be submitted to Parliament, the article on the whole is a misrepresentation of facts.
Civil society is well appreciated in Hungary, enjoying the support of Hungarians, and of the government. We have thousands of non-governmental organizations, and they add value in a wide range of fields, including culture and arts to education, health, agruculture, charitable activities, and so on. They have clear regulations and a membership, a chosen or elected leadership, and are transparent, both in their financing and their stated goals.
However, there are organizations, listed as NGOs but financed by foreign interests. Irrespective of what they claim in their PR, they are by definition not independent, they are dependent on foreign political interests, whose activities and goals are political disruption – working against the choice of tha vast majoarity of the electorate, and against the government. They are the Hungarian branches and local offices of international organizations, with centers outside of the country and with direct political aims. They ultimate goal is toppling the freely elected government. No electorate and no government likes such activities, and very few will tolerate them for long. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure, and of the electorate to demand, the transparency of political actors, including organizations that call themselves NGOs.
Furthermore for your article to give a fair picture of the situation in Hungary, it would be crucial to underscore that all NGOs that are quoted and financed by „political philantropist” George Soros and other foreign political interests. The opinion of Hungarian people, of Hungarian Non-governmental Organizations are absent from your article.
Talking about „a clampdown on civil society”, as former President Barack Obama was quoted to have said, shows a lack of understanding the situation and is a misunderstanding of the intensions of the Hungarian government.
Dr. L. Pordany