By approving a resolution based on a report prepared by Mogens Jensen (SOC, Denmark) today, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) calls on Hungary to suspend the parliamentary debate on the draft law on the “Transparency of Organisations receiving Foreign Funding” and the implementation of the Act amending the National Higher Education Act, pending the opinion of experts from the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission.
Instead of accusing NGO of serving foreign interest groups and severely sanctioning them, the authorities should engage in an “open dialogue” with NGO in order to secure transparency about their funds as well as their respective means and ends. Furthermore, PACE regretted the currently prevailing accusatory and at times even hostile discourse towards NGO and civil society of Hungarian public officials.
“A dynamic civil society is a cornerstone of any democratic society. Today we can effectively and constructively offer our expertise to improve the draft before it is too late”, Mogens pointed out.