The head of a Soros-funded organisation described how his group lobbies Germany to pressure Hungary into abandoning its NGO transparency law.
Balázs Dénes detailed how the Civil Liberties Union for Europe, supported by George Soros’s Open Society Foundations (OSF), attempts to influence Germany via its links to think tanks close to the German government, according to recordings obtained by The Jerusalem Post.
Dénes described his main target as Hungary’s NGO transparency law which seeks for greater transparency of foreign-funded bodies in the country — directly affecting Soros’s open borders charities and pressure groups.
“We work very strongly. I’m having a meeting this week with a think tank, an organisation which is influencing the German government and the Foreign Ministry of Germany, and I’m bringing them copies of the law, just translated from Hungarian, and I’m explaining [to] them what they can do against it,” Dénes is reported to have said.
The Berlin-based NGO director also signalled, during the recording made in January with a person Dénes believed to be a supporter, that German manufacturers in Hungary could be influenced to fight the transparency law, which the European Commission claims goes against the values of the European Union (EU).
“Germany, because of the German investors and German companies, is an influential player in Hungary. So if the German Foreign Ministry wants something, they can, they have means,” Dénes said, naming specifically Audi, Bosch, and Mercedes, which employ some 35,000 Hungarians.
Of the body’s connection to Soros, the Hungarian said: “We got a million dollars from the Open Society Foundation. Because it’s an OSF spin-off… it means that my project was running at OSF. And after four years, when we said, ‘Okay, now we’re ready, we can establish this thing’… Soros told me that, you know, we give you $3 million for the next three years.”
Dénes also said that Soros recruited him because OSF needed a body that could “control” the EU.
“The big reason why I was recruited five years ago by OSF was the recognition that at the moment in Europe, there is no human rights group which is able to control the EU,” Dénes said.
The NGO chief later told The Jerusalem Post, when confirming the veracity of the recording, that what the EU does in terms of human rights “should be watch-dogged by civil liberty organisations” such as his Soros-backed body.
(Dénes has spoken at the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs [LIBE] hearings on Hungary, and his Civil Liberties Union for Europe is listed on the European Commission’s transparency register.)
When asked whether it was legitimate to lobby Germany and German bodies to strong-arm Hungary into abandoning laws that protect her national interests, Dénes told the Israeli newspaper: “When [a nation’s] laws are not in line with the EU, and not in line with the Lisbon Treaty and the fundamental values of the EU, I do think that is an option.
“We don’t influence legislation, we talk to decision-makers and the people directly, but we have no other means to influence legislation,” he claimed.
Seeing this exposé as evidence that Soros’s organisations are actively attacking and attempting to undermine a nation-state’s sovereignty, Hungarian government Spokesman Zoltán Kovács said that “the Berlin lieutenant has been caught red-handed”.
“It transpires from the article that the NGOs want to take action against precisely those laws that would prevent them from concealing their foreign funding,” Hungarian Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó said on Monday, adding that his government would be requesting a copy of the recording from The Jerusalem Post.