27 April 2017 – Civil society is under increasing attack in many parts of the world – and perhaps nowhere as publicly in this hour as in Hungary. Over the past month, the Hungarian government has adopted a law designed to expel Central European University from Budapest and is currently considering a law that would restrict NGO activity in the country. If enacted, the measure will depress investment from both international and local philanthropic organisations, and starve NGOs of resources necessary to provide key services and meet basic human needs.
In response, the European Foundation Centre has joined the efforts of the Open Society Foundation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund to push back against these attempts to restrict and prevent the vital work of NGOs in Hungary. More than 60 members of the EFC – including major philanthropic organisations from across Europe and the United States – have joined a larger coalition in issuing a statement in support of Hungarian civil society in this challenging moment.
The statement, which is being widely disseminated, outlines the philanthropy sector’s serious concerns regarding the effect the Hungarian government’s position is having on the NGO sector, and it condemns tactics such as the government’s public information campaigns that are undermining the public’s trust in civil society. Philanthropic organisations will continue to monitor and speak out on the situation in Hungary.
For more information, see news item: Hungarian government proposes bill on foreign-funded organisations.