“The Government will be making the ‘Stop Soros’ legislative package significantly stricter, and will be submitting it to Parliament in this form on Tuesday”, Minister of State for Government Communication Bence Tuzson announced at a press conference in Budapest on Tuesday.

Mr. Tuzson told the press that the Cabinet had discussed the over six hundred submitted suggestions and “drawn the appropriate conclusions”. “We would like to conform to the will of the Hungarian people, as expressed by the National Consultation”, he said.

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“We would like a Hungary that is not an immigrant country, and the legislation will be in accordance with this”, he declared.
“The legislative package will be put before the National Assembly in stricter form”, he emphasised.

The Stop Soros package is made up of three pieces of legislation, the first of which is the bill on registration.

“The most significant change is that the new law would introduce mandatory licences instead of mandatory registration. The goal is to ensure that it is only possible to organise, support or finance migration in Hungary while in possession of a licence, which would be issued by the Minister of Interior following an assessment of the related national security aspects”, he explained.

Mr. Tuzson said that some parts of the legislative package require a two-thirds majority vote, meaning the support of the opposition will also be required. He explained that the adoption of the parts that require a two-thirds majority are important with relation to all three bills, and accordingly he called on all Members of Parliament to support the initiative.

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The Ministry of Justice’s Parliamentary State Secretary, Pál Völner highlighted the fact that the Act on National Security will also need to be amended. It will be the duty of the security services to examine applying organisations from a national security perspective, he said.

Organisations will have the right to appeal the decision of the Interior Minister with relation to procedural law.

If an organisation continues its activities without applying for a licence, the prosecutor’s office will call on it to cease those activities and take the necessary action to have the related tax number stricken from the register. If an organisation continues its operations even after this, then the prosecutor’s office may impose a fine of up to 1 million 800 thousand forints.

If the organisation still does not “come around”, the prosecutor will have the power to ask the court to have it stricken from the register, Mr. Völner explained.

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“The legislation includes important definitions with relation to what activities require a licence, and these also include the influencing of law enforcement decisions”, he pointed out.

According to the Parliamentary State Secretary, the 25 percent duty on foreign funding will remain part of the legislation, but organisations that do not spend their funding “for this purpose” may be exempted. The third element of the package, relating to the issuing of restraining orders to both Hungarian and foreign citizens, will also remain part of the bill, Mr. Völner said.

In reply to a question concerning which parts of the legislative package will require a two-thirds majority vote, he said the most important of these is the amendment of the Act on National Security, which definitely requires a two-thirds majority vote.

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Mr. Tuzson explained that the legislative package “makes sense as a whole”.

In reply to a question on why the Government is counting on the support of the opposition, the Minister of State for Government Communication said the Government hopes that opposition MPs will put aside their everyday political interests, “background supporters” and “financers”, and will “finally try and concentrate on the nation’s interests for once”.

In reply to a another question, Mr. Tuzson said the Fidesz Parliamentary Group will be debating the “Stop Soros” package at its next external meeting, after which it will be put before Parliament. The Government is asking Parliament to adopt the legislative package as soon as possible, he stressed.

A member of the press asked how long the Government was planning to continue its “Stop Soros” poster campaign, in reply to which Mr. Tuzson indicated that the informative phase of the legislative package is over and the posters will now be removed. “Now comes the legislative phase, which is a different kind of job”, he added.

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According to one comment, Fidesz received a 33 percent discount on advertising space, meaning the larger governing party contravened the Poster Act, which it itself introduced. In his reply, the Minister of State stressed that this was a party issue, not a government issue, and declared that this was false news. “The suggestion is incorrect, and Fidesz has already issued a reaction to it”, he added. “The larger governing party purchased the advertising space at list price; it adhered to regulations”, he declared.