EU gives Hungary two months to change NGO law, or face fines

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The European Union’s executive on Thursday gave Hungary two months to change a contentious law requiring civil organisations to disclose foreign donors, or face fines.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last year ruled that the 2017 law “introduced discriminatory and unjustified restrictions” in breach of fundamental rights, including on personal data protection and freedom of association.

“Civil society organisations are indispensable part of our democracies. We must support them, not fight them,” Vera Jourova, a deputy head of the European Commission, said on Thursday.

As reported by Reuters in advance, the Commission on Thursday sent a letter of formal notice to Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government giving it two months to implement the CJEU ruling.

That is part of an infringement procedure through which the Commission takes on EU countries violating the bloc’s laws. Should Budapest fail to react, the Commission might ask the CJEU to impose financial fines. 

Main Photo: The flag of Hungary and of the European Union fly next to each other on the Embassy of Hungary in London,. EPA/DANIEL DEME

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