OSF insists it remains committed to Hungary


Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com

The Open Society Foundations (OSF) network, founded by Hungarian-born business magnate George Soros to financially support civil society around the world, has declined to confirm news reports Thursday that it may close its office in Budapest, saying instead it is “considering various options.”

George Soros, founder and chairman of the Open Society Foundations, gives a speech during the Brussels Economic Forum in Belgium on June 1, 2017. (Photo by Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock.com)

Austrian portal Die Presse reported on Thursday evening that Patrick Gaspard, president of the OSF, had traveled to Budapest to announce to OSF employees the closure of the office in the Hungarian capital.

According to the report, Gaspard also said the OSF will open a branch in Berlin in the summer. Bloomberg added that the OSF would move about 100 employees from Budapest to Berlin.

Bloomberg also cited Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as saying on public radio on Friday that he would not shed “crocodile tears” if the organization left Budapest.

When contacted by the Budapest Business Journal, the OSF would not confirm either Gaspardʼs visit to Budapest or the reported planned closure of the office.

“The Open Society Foundations are closely watching developments around the draft legislation that would dramatically restrict the activities of civil society in Hungary,” the OSF statement says. “We are considering various options, as the security of our staff in Budapest and the integrity of our work is of paramount importance.”

“With the Open Society Foundations’ 30-year legacy of helping Hungarians and encouraging human rights and critical thinking, we are committed to continuing our work in this country,” the statement added.

According to the organizationʼs website, the OSF works “to build vibrant and tolerant societies whose governments are accountable and open to the participation of all people. We seek to strengthen the rule of law; respect for human rights, minorities, and a diversity of opinions; democratically elected governments; and a civil society that helps keep government power in check.”

The foundations work in over 100 countries worldwide.

OTP Redeems EUR 400 mln of Green Securities Banking

OTP Redeems EUR 400 mln of Green Securities

KDNP Pulls out of EPP After Tisza Joins Elections

KDNP Pulls out of EPP After Tisza Joins

Gloster Wins EUR 15 mln BMW Contract Deals

Gloster Wins EUR 15 mln BMW Contract

Int'l Travelers to Europe Prioritize Safety, Quality This Su... Tourism

Int'l Travelers to Europe Prioritize Safety, Quality This Su...


Producing journalism that is worthy of the name is a costly business. For 27 years, the publishers, editors and reporters of the Budapest Business Journal have striven to bring you business news that works, information that you can trust, that is factual, accurate and presented without fear or favor.
Newspaper organizations across the globe have struggled to find a business model that allows them to continue to excel, without compromising their ability to perform. Most recently, some have experimented with the idea of involving their most important stakeholders, their readers.
We would like to offer that same opportunity to our readers. We would like to invite you to help us deliver the quality business journalism you require. Hit our Support the BBJ button and you can choose the how much and how often you send us your contributions.