NAV raids Energiaklub, confiscates contracts, invoices

October 13, 2016

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Translation of “Norway affair, act 2?” published on the website of Energiaklub, an NGO that has been critical of government plans to build two new reactors at the Paks Atomic Energy Plant in Hungary:

Today, October 13, 2016, we have suffered a new “coercive measure”: this morning, unexpectedly and without prior notice, the Central Hungary Crime Directorate of the National Tax and Customs Office (NAV) conducted a raid on the office of Energiaklub. We are unaware of the object or goal of the procedure – for the moment all we know is that the investigation is taking place against an unknown suspect, and according to the decision to initiate the investigation, “it is necessary in the interests of the efficiency of the procedure and the clarification of the facts” that Energiaklub’s “Climate answer – Capacity Development for the local climate adaption”  project be investigated.

We successfully closed the completed project in April 2016 with support from Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein. We reported on the project four times monthly to the organization handling the support. That international organization, based in Szentendre, is the Regional Environmental Center, which found all of our reports to be in order. An international auditor conducted a detailed investigation of the organizations participating in the project, during which, according to our information, they also found everything to be in order.

Today, NAV agents confiscated the project contracts and more than 300 invoices, as well as the correspondences of the project leader which were conducted in connection with the project. Energiaklub has filed a complaint with the appropriate authority concerning the decision to authorize the raid.

More than 140 municipal lawmakers, representatives and officers, as well as NGOs from almost 100 settlements in all 4 regions of the country have participated in the one-year-old project. The training series conducted through the project was about how to prepare for the effects of climate change on a municipal level. The participants considered how climate change affects their towns, which areas are the most vulnerable, and what actions can be taken at their own discretion in those areas. The successful project filled a need, and was the first local adaption training series in Hungary.