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Socialist discontent with regulations draft of civil sector

The government’s concept for regulating civil organisations would tighten central control over them, reports quoting Ildiko Lendvai, a stalwart of the opposition Socialist Party. This would result in a considerable decrease in the number of public-benefit bodies, she added.

She called on the government to withdraw the draft.

Lendvai also criticised plans to set up a new body – the National Cooperation Fund – to distribute central funds between civil groups, in which members delegated by the government would have a two-thirds majority, whereas the current body is dominated by representatives of the NGOs concerned.

According to Lendvai, Hungary has some 30,000 active civil groups, half of which are registered as public benefit organisations. If the draft is passed into law, 90% of them will lose their public benefit status under the new conditions, Lendvai said.

The government published its draft in May. The purpose was to support organisations “providing useful services to society” and eliminate others set up with the sole purpose of winning funds from the central budget.