MEP Tamás Deutsch’s open letter to the President of the European Commission

2023. 09. 15.

MEP Tamás Deutsch, Head of Fidesz delegation to the European Parliament has sent the following letter to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission today.

Madam President,

The evaluation of the European Commission’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values (CERV) programme in Hungary has revealed a political bias and an attempt to interfere in internal political processes that are unprecedented and outrageous in the history of the European Union.

The vast majority of the HUF 567 million (about EUR 1,494,269) awarded in the “In Partnership” and “In Development” categories went to political activist organisations linked to the Hungarian left-liberal opposition and to Hungarian NGOs backed by American speculator George Soros.

The Commission’s support for these organisations, which are openly and avowedly anti-government, raises a number of questions, to which we urgently need answers from you, President:

  • Do you consider the support of Hungarian NGOs engaged in regular political activism through the CERV programme to be compatible with the principle of political neutrality binding on the European Commission?
  • What selection criteria explain the fact that the Hungarian NGOs which have won funding under the CERV programme are predominantly members of the Soros network and that their political agitation activities are now also partly funded by the European Commission?
  • Did political agitation against the democratic Hungarian government play a role in the Commission’s selection of the Hungarian winners of the CERV programme?
  • In which other EU Member States, apart from Hungary, does the Commission provide financial support to NGOs whose main profile is the dissemination of anti-government political propaganda?
  • What internal mechanisms ensure that the Commission adheres to the principle of political neutrality, both in general and in the specific context of the CERV programme?
  • What evidence does the Commission have to show that the winners of the CERV programme in Hungary have not been selected on the basis of political criteria?
  • Does the principle of equality between Member States apply if the Commission selects the winners of the CERV programme on the basis of political criteria in some Member States but maintains political neutrality in others?
  • Why does the Commission consider it more important to support civil society organisations that conduct political campaigns than to provide EU support for Hungarian teachers and families under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)?

Madam President,

Recent corruption scandals and attempts to influence EU institutions from outside have dramatically damaged the credibility of the Commission and the Parliament.

In this situation, a responsible leader should seek to restore citizens’ trust in an institution and avoid even the semblance of being seen to be guilty of bias or of violating its own operating principles.

In view of the fact that the composition of the beneficiaries of the CERV programme in Hungary shows a serious bias, we call on the President to provide credible evidence that the Commission has fully complied with its own requirement of political neutrality in the procedure.

Yours sincerely,

Tamás Deutsch

Member of the European Parliament