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2014-09-22

Civil society organizations rally to support Hungarian NGOs under government threat

977 NGOs from across Europe, including 353 from Poland, called today upon the highest institutions of the European Union to take action against recent anti-democratic developments in Hungary.

In parallel with strengthening its control of the media, judiciary and business, the government of Viktor Orbán is increasing its pressure on civil society. The apparent purpose is to suppress independent activity and extinguish any voices it deems critical of the government.

977 NGOs from 32 countries are addressing an appeal to the EU institutions – the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament, and the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights –urging them to stop ignoring the developments in Hungary and stand up to actions aimed at intimidating and silencing civil society in an EU member country.

Signatories of the letter are concerned about the so-far vague EU responses to actions which violate the basic principles on which the Union is founded. They jointly call upon the highest European institutions to take diplomatic and preventative measures, if necessary engaging the procedure provided in the New framework for addressing systemic threats to the rule of law in the EU Member States (see: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-237_en.htm).

Signatories of the letter express their support and commitment to the Hungarian organizations attacked by the Orbán government, and affirms that they will not be isolated in their struggle to preserve their independence and legitimacy. Their case deserves solidarity and joint action within the NGO sector across Europe, as well as the urgent attention of the European institutions. The appeal in support of Hungarian NGOs has been initiated by the foundations which administer the EEA/Norway NGO Funds in 16 EU countries (in Poland: the Stefan Batory Foundation).

More info about the situation of the Hungarian NGOs and possible ways of expressing support: http://blacklistedhungarians.eu/

You can also join the initiative #ListMeToo – taka a picture with #ListMeToo hashtag, publish it on your organization Facebook, Twitter, Instagram account and manifest your support!

NGO appeal to EU>>

List of signatories>>

 

Further information:

Ewa Kulik-Bielinska, Stefan Batory Foundation, Warsaw, +4822536 0200, ekulik@batory.org.pl, www.batory.org.pl

Tina Divjak, Centre for information service, co-operation and development of NGOs, Ljubjlana, +38615421422, tina.divjak@cnvos.si , www.cnvos.si

Peter Medved, Ekopolis Foundation, Banska Bystrica, +421484145259, medved@ekopolis.sk, www.ekopolis.sk

Ionut Sibian, Civil Society Development Foundation, Bucharest, +40213100177, ionut.sibian@fdsc.ro, www.fdcs.ro