NGOs Targeted: Solidarna Polska Proposes Regulations Native to Russia and Hungary

József Rippl-Rónai: Woman with a Birdcage (1892) // Public domain

Under the noble slogan of increasing the openness of public life, Solidarna Polska MPs actually want to make information of a private nature public, which is in keeping with the negative climate created by the current government around the non-governmental environment, including those organizations whose goals are not approved by the ruling majority.

It is, therefore, not surprising that the commented proposal is confusingly reminiscent of Russian and Hungarian solutions deemed to violate human rights. The draft law should therefore be assessed unequivocally critically.

The draft law on transparency of NGO funding, known as Lex Woś, has received a print number and has been sent to the first reading in the Sejm.

The proposal by Solidarna Polska’s MPs imposes numerous reporting, informational, and administrative obligations on large NGOs, including the requirement to publish a register of contributions and contracts entered into, as well as information on the financing of individual projects.

The draft duplicates solutions put forward in 2020 and critically assessed as incompatible with the Polish Constitution, EU law and the European Convention on Human Rights; the provisions are confusingly reminiscent of solutions from Russia and Hungary deemed to violate human rights.

The real goal of the project is to reduce the ability of NGOs whose goals are not shared by those in power to function effectively; indeed, the obligation to share numerous pieces of information, including donors’ personal data, threatens to undermine the ability of these organizations to raise funds to achieve their chosen goals.

The project’s declared goal of increasing the openness of public life is an abuse; for its content and justification imply increased interference in the private lives of citizens and NGOs themselves.

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