EC Advances Infringement Procedure Over Hungary's Sovereignty Defense Act

EU

The European Commission on Thursday stepped up an infringement procedure against Hungary over legislation on the defense of national sovereignty that it said violated European Union law, by deciding to send Hungary a "reasoned opinion" on the matter, according to a report by state news wire MTI.

The legislation, approved in December 2023, established a Sovereignty Defence Office, tasked with preparing an annual report scrutinizing the activities of organizations that could use foreign funding to influence the outcome of elections, and introduced criminal sanctions for people found guilty of taking or concealing prohibited foreign campaign financing.

The EC launched the infringement procedure by sending a letter of formal notice in February 2024. 

The EC said on Thursday that the reply received from Hungary concerning the legislation did not alleviate their concerns. Hungary has now two months to respond and take the necessary measures. Otherwise, the Commission may decide to refer the case to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

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