EU Steps up Legal Action Against Hungary Over NGO Foreign Funding Law

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - FEBRUARY 17: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban speaks to the media with Russian President Vladimir Putin at Parliament on February 17, 2015 in Budapest, Hungary. Putin is in Budapest on a one-day visit, his first visit to an EU-member country since he attended ceremonies marking the 70th …
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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — The European Union says Hungary has failed to address its “serious concerns” about a new law on civic groups, so it is stepping up legal action against the Hungarian government.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive body, said Wednesday that it could refer the case to the European Court of Justice if Hungary fails to comply with the EU’s “reasoned opinion” within one month. The EU launched the infringement procedure against Hungary in July, saying the new law could prevent civic groups from raising funds and function properly.

Hungary says its aim is to increase transparency among non-governmental groups receiving foreign funding, while repeatedly criticizing the Hungarian Helsinki Committee and other NGOs that receive funds from the Open Society Foundations established by Hungarian-American billionaire and philanthropist George Soros.

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