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The Századvég think tank has raised concerns about foreign-funded NGOs making data requests in the public interest. In a statement, Századvég accused the NGOs of abusing the law on data requests. The think tank also complained about abuse of copyright. A Budapest court last year ordered the Prime Minister’s Office to allow a journalist working for the weekly HVG access to studies and research prepared by Századvég for the PM’s Office between 2015 and 2018. The think tank noted that the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union NGO (TASZ), “a largely foreign-funded organisation supported by the Open Society Foundations affiliated with George Soros”, had represented the journalist. Századvég said it feared the “the misuse of data in this case”, insisting that government research materials “may be unlawfully duplicated and transferred to their foreign financiers.” “This runs against the country’s interests,” the think tank said. Századvég said that for many years it had highlighted the risks associated with foreign-funded NGOs “threatening Hungary’s national sovereignty and legal certainty”.
The ruling states that the journalist can only access data in the public interest from research materials and other documents prepared by the Századvég Political School Foundation and Századvég Economic Research for the PM’s Office. If the studies are published, copied, reproduced or disseminated, Századvég, as the owners of the copyrighted material, will take swift and appropriate legal action, the statement said.