Legal loophole revealed for NGOs targeted by new law

July 11, 2017

A legal loophole was revealed Tuesday that could give some civil organizations in Hungary breathing room after falling under the recently adopted NGO law, reports hvg.hu.

According to a letter written by the Ministry of Human Resources’ Civil Relations and Social Consultation Department, with the consultation of the Ministry of Justice, only those NGOs that receive more than HUF 7.2 million (USD 26,600) from abroad annually after the law went into effect on June 27, 2017 must register themselves with the authorities.

The letter has been posted by the Nonprofit Information and Education Center (NIOK) on their Facebook page. It suggests that the law does not have retroactive effect, as previously believed by NGOs, meaning the revelation could provide NGOs some extra time before having to register or facing penalties for failing to do so.

The law, adopted in June, requires all civil organizations receiving the HUF 7.2 million-plus to register themselves as “foreign-funded organizations.” The legislation, similar to anti-NGO laws in Israel and Russia, has been widely criticized as an attempt by the government to clamp down on opposition.