This morning the Open Society Foundations filed cases before the Hungarian Constitutional Court and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR), for violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association, assembly, and property.  Please find their press release in English and Hungarian along with a FAQ.

They are challenging the most recent restrictions imposed by the Hungarian government on civil society organisations, namely:

  • the “Stop Soros package” (Act VI of 2018), which, among other issues, criminalises any support to asylum or residence applications; and the
  • the “Soros tax” (Section 253, Act XLI of 2018), which imposes a 25% tax on all financial support to organisations that support migration.

In an application before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, Open Society argues that the recent legislation breaches the guarantees of freedom of expression and association enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights and must be repealed.

The EFC has raised concern over the past years to EU policymakers about the developments in Hungary.  The most recent was a joint EFC/DAFNE letter to Vice President Timmermans in July calling for EU actions such as triggering the Article 7 procedure to address the breach with EU law and the values on which the European Union is founded.  See more here: Philanthropy calls for EU action following developments in Hungary.