Fidesz group leader urges secret service to monitor NGOs and media platforms funded from abroad

June 14. 2022. – 01:34 PM

updated

Máté Kocsis, Fidesz’ parliamentary group leader told Telex that he hasn’t yet spoken with Antal Rogán (the minister overseeing the secret service) about his May idea regarding the NGOs and media providers which have received donations from abroad.

It was during Rogán’s hearing that Kocsis pointed out the following: “The NGOs involved in Hungarian domestic politics are those which are either funded from abroad and yet carry out their domestic political activities here, or those media outlets which are clearly in the service of foreign countries. Identifying these, or at least knowing who they are will be essential in relation to defending sovereignty."

The group leader told us that this was brought up back in 2018 in connection with the Stop Soros package, and that they took the matter seriously: “Organizations which are receiving money from foreign governments and intend to exert political influence in Hungary that is not based on democratic legitimacy need to be examined. This is a simple matter of protecting Hungary’s sovereignty.”

Kocsis emphasized that it is the organizations funded by foreign governments that deserve particular attention. According to him, foreign states are establishing political parties in smaller countries, or trying to gain influence through large companies and media conglomerates and by using secret service tools and blackmail. Fidesz’ group leader says there is no question that such things are ongoing.

“What needs to be done is to find out which of these is happening in Hungary and to what extent.”

Kocsis was unable to give specific examples. In fact, he said “even if I could give you examples, I wouldn’t at this time”. To the question whether the secret service has worked on such issues, he said “That is something we cannot know as these are secret service operations”.

We then asked the politician:

“So do you have specific NGOs or media providers in mind which could be suspected of receiving funds from a foreign government with the intent to exert political influence in Hungary?”

“What I think about this doesn’t matter”

– Kocsis responded, adding that even if the secret service has performed such “tasks in the past, it is not known”, but if it hasn’t been done, “then I would like to urge everyone to make sure it gets done”.

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The translation of this article was made possible by our cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.