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CJEU adv gen says Hungary NGO law violates EU rules

An advocate general of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has said in an opinion that Hungarian legislation on foreign-funded NGOs violates the European Union tenet of free movement of capital as well as provisions enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU, state news wire MTI reports.

Advocate General Campos Sanchez-Bordona said the legislation violates the rights to protection of private life and personal data assured by the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

He said the legal measures "do not infringe the essence of the rights concerned, although they do undermine those rights".

Sanchez-Bordona said he does not believe the legal measures are commensurate with the objective of achieving enhanced transparency for organizations that "perform a decisive role in the formation of public opinion" as they do not apply to commercial companies, even though some companies, such as those in the media, may also shape public opinion.

He added that no evidence has been produced concerning how the information gathered serves to achieve the aims which justify it, and the measures are disproportionate in terms of their consequences.

The opinion does not bind the court.

The European Commission referred Hungary to the CJEU over the legislation, which requires NGOs to make full disclosure of foreign funding over HUF 7.2 million a year, late in 2017.