Entries RSS Feed Share Send to Facebook Tweet This Accessible version

Hungary leaves Open Government Partnership

December 12th, 2016

Opinions sharply diverge on the government’s decision to withdraw from an international organisation set up five years ago to keep a tighter rein on corruption. Hungary has been often ‘criticised without being heard’, say friends of the government.

Explaining the decision to leave the Open Government Partnership (OGP), the Foreign Ministry argued that the organisation routinely accepts the opinions of the government’s critics and transforms them into resolutions, and that in doing so it ignores the government’s case that it is indeed devoted to keeping public procurements clean. This argument is rejected by Gábor Aczél in Gépnarancs, the Magyar Narancs webpage which publishes snap comments on topical issues. Aczél thinks the real reason is that the government does not want to eradicate corruption and has no place in the international organisation on account of its own ‘corruption programme’. The government had better set up a new organisation called ‘Government partnership behind closed doors’, the liberal commentator suggests sarcastically. He speculates in his closing remark that Mr Orban should be crowned, as this would allow the new organisation to be known as ‘Kings with other Kings’.

In Magyar Idők, Ferenc Kiss approves of the government’s decision  and thinks ‘it was about time’ for Hungary to leave OGP since its ‘independent experts’ who judge whether countries meet the standards of open governance are linked to Hungarian-American investment guru George Soros who ‘dreams of dismantling nation states and supports organisations that promote US interests abroad’. Kiss enumerates several cases in which the United States exerted pressure on Hungary by asking for information about investigations against left-wing politicians suspected of bribery. As the most recent example, he mentions a communique by the State Department expressing concern over the terrorism conviction and 10 year sentence handed down to a Syrian citizen found guilty of orchestrating violence against Hungarian police at a border crossing in southern Hungary last year (see BudaPost, December 3).  The pro-government columnist hopes that the new administration under Donald Trump ”will treat Hungary as something more than just a subject and zone of influence”.


Tags: , ,