Under the rule of law mechanism, the main bodies of the European Union (EU), the Commission (EC), the Parliament (EP), and the Council (EC), as well as the parliaments of the Member States, civil society, and other stakeholders, hold an annual dialogue on the rule of law. One of the official purposes of the mechanism is to strengthen interinstitutional cooperation and to encourage the EU institutions to contribute thereto, in accordance with their respective roles. The process, which is a novelty of the EU’s toolbox, is based on the Rule of Law Report, which is expected to have a preventive effect on the emergence and deepening of rule of law deficits and enable Member States to safeguard their democratic responding in a timely manner and high-level cooperation.
However, if we look below the surface of the declared goals, it is clear that Brussels has taken the undefined notion of the rule of law, lacking universal consensus, out of the auspices of the law and uses it as a tool of political blackmail against countries that disagree with the ideology of open societies. EU attacks on Hungary referring to the rule of law began with the Sargentini report and then took shape in the 2020 and 2021 rule of law reports. Regarding last year’s document, Justice Minister Judit Varga said, “Actually, the report was written by organisations that are part of a centrally funded international network conducting a coordinated political campaign against Hungary. The Hungarian chapter of the report refers to 12 non-governmental organisations. Eleven of these civil organisations received financial support in recent years from the Open Society Foundations [OFS] linked to George Soros.” Although government members and some non-OSF-funded non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are also consulted during the preparation of country reports, in Brussels they typically form their views on a country’s democracy index based on the views of opposition politicians and NGOs funded by the billionaire stock market speculator. Hungary could hence be condemned for curtailing the powers of the Constitutional Court, while there is no separate constitutional court in Denmark, the United Kingdom (which was still an EU member in 2018), Sweden and the Netherlands, and it is Brussels that intends to limit the powers of the Polish Constitutional Court (classifying it as illegal). The views of the left-liberals participating in the mechanism are reflected in the report, when the Hungarian and European citizens and our lawfully operating border protection are attacked by referring to the immigrants’ basic rights, or when the Hungarian government is accused of corruption, despite the fact that even OLAF Deputy Director Ernesto Bianchi also said that “he can see no systemic problem in statistics related to Hungary”, or when they know the facts that the Hungarian prosecutor’s office prosecuted two-thirds of the cases initiated by the Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) in 2020, compared to the EU average of only 37 percent.
The image of Member States is shaped by NGOs not only in their responses given during the preparation of the rule of law reports but also in their own documents prepared prior to the country reports. In June 2021, the Human Rights and Democracy Network (HRDN) published its analysis entitled the Submission to the European Commission in the framework of the 2nd Annual Rule of Law Review Cycle. The number one recommendation of HRDN to the EC was for the executive body of the EU to maintain a genuine and meaningful relationship with civil society and human rights defenders throughout the cycle, to provide them with adequate protection and direct resources. In their material published this summer, they paid special attention to Poland and Hungary because, in their view, the two states were “systematically and continuously dismantling the rule of law”. They express criticism against the EC report because it deals with the situation in all countries to the same extent, while, according to the HRDN, the Polish and Hungarian governments “require special attention”. In line with the narrative in Brussels, homophobic accusations were made against the two countries, the grounds of which, regarding Hungary, were the changes in the media resulting from the amendment to the Child Protection Act. The organisation claims that the independence and functioning of NGOs are under increasing threat and severe pressure. In addition to the Open Society European Policy Institute, which is directly linked to George Soros, the document prepared for the EC mainly refers to the work of the following Soros organisations:
- Scholars at Risk Network received USD 736,000 (HUF 240 million) in 2016 from the Open Society Foundations (OSF) linked to George Soros,
- In the same year, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) received a grant of USD 850,000 (HUF 275 million) from the OSF,
- The International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) received a total of USD 194,906 (HUF 63 million) in 2016, 2019, and 2020 from the Soros Foundation,
- The Civil Liberties Union for Europe earned a revenue of USD 4,350,000 (HUF 1.407 billion) in 2017, 2019 and 2020, from the stock market speculator,
- Amnesty International received USD 8,927,000 (HUF 2.9 billion) from the OSF.
In March 2021, Soros NGOs operating in Hungary also made an analysis entitled Hungarian NGOs contribute to the European Commission’s second Rule of Law Report, which was prepared to exclusively focus on the work of the organisations sharing the views of the stock market speculator, who calls himself a philanthropist. The findings for Hungary are the same as those included in the reports on the rule of law and the compilation of the HRDN, showing that they all work from a pre-determined central narrative, and they do not even create an appearance of independence or objectivity. Organisations involved in the analysis:
- Amnesty International Hungary – it received USD 25,000 (HUF 8,080,000) from OSF in 2020,
- Eötvös Károly Institute – it received slightly more than HUF 220 million from the foundations connected Soros between 2009 and 2018,
- Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) – it received USD 870,118 (HUF 287 million) support from OSF between 2016 and 2020,
- Hungarian Helsinki Committee – it raised a total of USD 1,510,000 (HUF 488 million) in funding through the Soros Foundation in 2016, 2018 and 2019,
- K-Monitor – it received USD 105,460 (HUF 34 million) from OSF in 2017, 2018 and 2020,
- Mérték Médiaelemző Műhely – it was granted HUF 109 million by OSF between 2009 and 2015,
- Political Capital – the NGO received USD 270,869 (HUF 88 million) from the Soros Foundation in 2016, 2018 and 2019,
- Transparency International Hungary – it received USD 11,107 (HUF 3.6 million) from OSF.
These organisations have also taken an active part in the drafting of the rule of law reports and in the EU’s attempts to discredit Hungary. Already the analysis of this March included that “They hope that in this year’s  report, the EC will also make a specific, enforceable recommendation to Member States, including Hungary, on how to strengthen the rule of law in the EU.” The expectation set out here will be fulfilled, as in the webinar of the “EU Rule of Law Mechanism – What is the role of civil society organisations?” the EC stated that specific recommendations would be made to Member States from 2022 onwards. However, enforceability could be a concern, as the role of EU recommendations is to allow the EU institutions to communicate their views and to propose measures, without imposing any legal obligation on the addressees of the recommendation.
Brussels would provide broader power for NGOs. This is also part of the intervention attempts that Soros and the EU are making against nation states. The HRDN’s Submission to the European Commission in the framework of the 2nd Annual Rule of Law Review Cycle also calls for closer cooperation with NGOs. Brussels wants Soros-NGOs to comment on the rule of law in a country and decide if things are going well, and not the people and the politicians it has elected. The EC will launch a consultation for those interested in the rule of law report, which will run from 1 December 2021 to 24 January 2022, with the primary aim of providing the Commission with factual information on comprehensive (EU) and country-specific developments. The EC wants an ongoing dialogue with NGOs, which, representing the stance of George Soros, are launching a series of political attacks on countries that reject migration, LGBTQ propaganda and an open society.