CJEU: AG Opinion on restricting donations for the benefit of civil society organisations and NGOs

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

On 14 January 2020, Advocate General Campos Sanchez-Bordona delivered his opinion on action brought against Hungary by the European Commission in the case C-78/18 on the compatibility of the limitations imposed to “civil society organizations” receiving donations from abroad in respect of Article 63 TFEU and Articles 7, 8, and 12 of the Charter.

The case concerned the Hungarian law No LXXVI of 2017, requiring “civil society organizations” receiving donations from abroad to register with the Hungarian authorities where the amount of the donations they have received in a given year reaches a certain threshold. They are also required to indicate that they are in receipt of funding from abroad on its homepage and in its publications; and provide national authorities with specific information, such as donor details in an effort to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. Considering that the case concerns both the infringements of the Treaty and the Charter, the Advocate General highlighted the necessity to go beyond the traditional separation of the two texts and search for an integrated review criteria of interpretation able to incorporate the fundamental rights of the Charter into the content of the freedoms safeguarded by the Treaties.

The Advocate General notes that the conditions imposed by the Hungarian law represent a restriction of the freedom of movement of capital contrary to Art. 63 TFEU. He also takes the view that the publication of such data is an interference both with the rights relating to the protection of private life and personal data, and with the right to freedom of association, safeguarded by Articles 7, 8 and 12 of the Charter.

He concludes by proposing that the Court of Justice should declare that the Hungarian legislation at issue unduly restricts the free movement of capital, in that it includes provisions which amount to unjustified interference with the fundamental rights of respect for private life, protection of personal data and freedom of association protected by the Charter.

Thank you to Francesca Zalambani, Legal Assistant at ECRE, for assisting us with the summary.

This item was reproduced with the permission of ECRE from the ELENA Weekly Legal Update. The purpose of these updates is to inform asylum lawyers and legal organizations supporting asylum seekers and refugees of recent developments in the field of asylum law. Please note that the information provided is taken from publicly available information on the internet. Every reasonable effort is made to make the content accurate and up to date at the time each item is pusexblished but no responsibility for its accuracy and correctness, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by ECRE.




Legal assistance / Legal representation / Legal aid