• Number of the week: 4

    GIF: Karolina Uskakovych/European Focus

    How many years does it take to repeal a law that forces NGOs to register as foreign agents? In Hungary: four years and a court ruling.

    In 2017, the Hungarian Parliament passed a bill that obliged organisations receiving at least 7.2 million HUF (18,500 EUR) annually from abroad to register with the courts or face a fine.

    Civil society protests went unheard, but not by the European Union. Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice and pressure from the European Commission, the law was revoked in 2021. No NGO has ever been fined. But Georgia, which followed in Hungary’s footsteps with a similarly controversial bill, lacks the EU’s legal umbrella. The Hungarian case proves the rule of law can be upheld in the EU, even if one country does not like the decision.

    This article is part of the "Making and breaking the European dream" edition
    Guardians of the EU aspiration
    People power backed by Ukraine
    EU alarm on Georgia
    Number of the week: 4
    Montenegro needs EU action