The European Parliament’s (EP) Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) acts as a standing committee of the plenary body and is responsible for civil liberties, including the minority rights declared in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, justice, and home affairs. It is perhaps no exaggeration to say that this committee exceeds the limits of its jurisdiction too often when it repeatedly intervenes in the internal affairs of the Member States, which are part of the sovereignty and exclusive competence of the countries. Many members of the LIBE Committee are waging verbal warfare against right-wing governments that politicise along national values and the states led thereby, without being deterred from pursuing their political goals by means of law, trying to force their ideology on these Member States. On 24 March 2020, LIBE members expressed their concern about the extension of the danger situation and the vote on the amendment to the Criminal Code resulting therefrom in a press release. Making trumped up accusations, in the absence of real problems, is far from being simple, and this is where the committee is provided help by cross-border NGOs (non-governmental organizations), which criticise the functioning of a country in various reports, usually diagnosing a serious deficit of the rule of law in sovereign right-wing countries that are considered to be “misfits”, especially Poland and Hungary.
NGOs can expect significant compensation from the European Union for their activity. The budget for the 2021-2027 period allocates EUR 1.855 billion to the Justice, Rights and Values program, which can provide significant financial support for NGOs seeking to gain political influence and weaken nation states. It should be highlighted that the amount allocated by the European Commission for this program would have been EUR 947 million originally, and this significant increase, which was almost the double, was initiated by the LIBE Committee. Of this, EUR 1.55 billion has been earmarked for “Rights and Values”, with the main objectives of protecting and promoting EU values, promoting equality and rights, engaging citizens in EU life, raising awareness of a common European history and combating violence. The “Justice” program has a budget of EUR 305 million for the development of the European area of justice and the promotion of the rule of law and the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.
Left-liberal politicians in Brussels usually consult with members of the NGOs that serve them. Seven members of the LIBE Committee visited Hungary on 29 September 2021. The official goal of their stay in Hungary from Wednesday to Friday is “to be informed of local conditions” and see if the situation of the rule of law in Hungary has changed since the initiation of the procedure under Article 7 in September 2018, which, incidentally, was initiated by this committee. The head of the delegation is Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield, MEP from the French Green Party, who took the place of Judith Sargentini, the namesake of one of the largest EU attacks against our country, in LIBE in 2019 and has constantly been providing allegations for the EU against right-wing countries. The “fact-finding visit” will focus on, inter alia, LGBTQ rights and migration and refugee issues. As is well known, Hungary and Brussels have very different positions on these two issues, but even if this did not justify the presumption that a pre-written, false report will be issued, it is worth dissecting the composition of the delegation and the organizations and politicians who they have the meetings with.
Delbos-Corfield (Vice-President, Greens) called for Hungary’s EU voting rights to be suspended due to the child protection act passed this summer, and a few weeks ago she demanded at a LIBE meeting that the recovery plan for using EU funds should be double checked in the case of Hungary, unlike in the case of other Member States. Her party’s proposals include, among others, the distribution of migrants as well.
Malin Björk, Sweden’s first openly lesbian, radical feminist MEP, is a politician in the far-left faction of The Left but only an alternate member of LIBE. However, she is a permanent member of the European Parliament’s working group that also addresses LGBTQ issues. She is strongly pro-immigration and suggests that roughly 240,000 migrants should be distributed annually in the EU.
Bettina Vollath, MEP from Austria, has arrived in Hungary with the preconception that women’s rights are being limited here. She called Hungary a “sham democracy without independent courts and freedom of the press” in the European Parliament. She has also called for the EU to take action against the Hungarian child protection and higher education acts, proposing that, regarding the latter, they not only rely on the courts but “resolve the matter politically”.
Two more politicians are worth mentioning. One of them is Isabel Wiseler-Lima, a representative of the People’s Party belonging to the left-liberal wing, who is responsible for the Hungarian rule of law in the EPP. She represents a pro-immigration stance and has attacked our child protection act. The other one is Anna Donáth, who – as a Hungarian – campaigned for the Progressive Slovakia Party in November 2019 and regularly calls for EU bodies to punish her country.
In addition to one or two representatives of the European Conservatives and Reformists and the Identity and Democracy, the above five politicians will form an opinion on the state of the rule of law in Hungary, devoting disproportionately more time to consulting actors critical and hostile to the government, according to their agenda. The delegation started its 48-hour negotiations with the representatives of NGOs, including Menedék, the Hungarian Association for Migrants, the Amnesty International Hungary, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, the Society for Freedom Rights, the Transparency International Hungary, and the Hungarian LGBT Association.
There are several points of contact between the listed politicians and non-governmental organizations: they receive a salary and support from European taxpayers’ money, pro-migration proponents, and they can be linked to George Soros and the ideology of open societies. The previously leaked list of DC Leaks includes MEPs who are declared to be reliable allies of George Soros. The intersection of the politicians attacking Hungary in EU bodies and the list of the names is significant. Malin Björk, who regularly attends the Open Society Foundation (OSF) events associated with Soros, and Juan Fernando López Aguilar, one of the main supporters of the introduction of a migrant visa, who became chairman of the LIBE Committee in July 2019, although the proposal failed in the vote in December 2018, are also included.
The publication of OFS for 2015 reveals that the billionaire speculator supported the activities of Menedék, the Hungarian Association for Migrants with USD 21,000, i.e., approximately HUF six and a half million. Using this source, Menedék set up individual and group information points in transit zones during the 2015 migrant crisis, where they provided information on the asylum application process and the services supporting integration. In 2016, the association received USD 68,739, i.e., more than HUF 21,300,000. The purpose of the support is to enable the association to strengthen its relationship with committed citizens and to expand its membership. Organizational development was also part of the project.
Between 2016 and 2019, Amnesty International received almost USD 10 million – approximately HUF 3.1 million – from OSF. No exact data is available on how much the Hungarian organization received from this.
The European Commission’s Justice and Consumers Department (DG JUST) is responsible for EU policy on justice, consumer rights and gender equality. The Hungarian Helsinki Committee received a grant of HUF 180 million from DG JUST in 2020 (the amount was not paid in full in the reference year), and HUF 320 million (of which HUF 243 million was a general operating grant) from the Open Society Institute Foundation in 2019.
In 2020, HCLU received a grant of HUF 172 million from OSF, of which HUF 123 million was entitled “institutional grant 2019-2020”.
In the 2018-2019 period, Transparency International Hungary received a grant of USD 156,000 – approximately HUF 48,400,000 – from OSF to fight corruption and abuse of power.
According to the latest report of the Hungarian LGBT Association in 2018, it received a grant of HUF 55,6 million from the European Commission. The program is called “Here we are! Increasing the social acceptance of LGBTQI people in Hungary through community reinforcement and education”. They received HUF 3.7 million from the Open Society Institute for the establishment of the Diversity Education Working Group and its publications.
Although Katalin Cseh, MEP from Momentum, has proposed direct funding for (in her opinion) disabled NGOs, we can see that non-governmental organizations operating in Hungary receive significant international support in reality. A significant part of the resources comes from George Soros and the foundations related to him. NGOs prepare their reports in line with the principles of an open society, thus “interpreting” the expected narrative towards politicians in Brussels. Of course, they get money for this from the European Union as well. So, contrary to the claims of Hungarian left-liberal politicians, the operation of non-governmental organizations is not at all in danger in Hungary.