Media Briefing: Government of Hungary Withdraws from the Open Government Partnership
Paris, France – December 7, 2016 – Yesterday, the OGP Steering Committee received a letter from the Government of Hungary announcing its immediate withdrawal from the partnership. The Government of Hungary had been under review by OGP since July 2015 for concerns raised by civil society organizations regarding their space to operate in the country.
The Government of Hungary developed two National Action Plans while participating in OGP. The 2013-2014 Action Plan was developed via consultation with civil society and included five commitments and 16 milestones on issues such as fiscal transparency, open procurement and public integrity. The OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism report for this plan found that 10 out of the 16 milestones were completed.
The Government of Hungary developed its 2015-2017 Action Plan with a consultation that included feedback from five civil society organizations and experts on draft commitments. It includes eight commitments on issues like freedom of information, local government and public integrity. The IRM are yet to complete their review of this action plan.
The Government of Hungary has participated in many OGP events, including the 2015 Mexico Summit, the 2014 OGP Points of Contact meeting in Georgia, and the 2013 London Summit.
On July 8, 2015, representatives of civil society organizations – including the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, K-Monitor Watchdog for Public Funds, and Transparency International Hungary – submitted a Letter of Concern to OGP under its Response Policy* about the deterioration of civic space in Hungary. After extensive research and consultation with the government, the OGP Steering Committee found that the complaints listed in the letter were valid. On June 23, 2016 a report was sent to the Government of Hungary with a series of recommendations to enhance open government and restore an enabling operating environment for civil society. The Government of Hungary was invited to participate in the 4th OGP Global Summit taking place in Paris December 7th-9th, and to meet with members of the OGP Steering Committee to discuss the concerns and recommendations raised in the review. On December 6, the Government of Hungary sent a letter to the OGP Steering Committee announcing its withdrawal from the partnership.
*The OGP Response Policy aims to safeguard the Open Government Declaration by addressing challenges for government and civil society collaboration and by helping countries to re-establish an effective and positive environment for civil society.
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Dietlind Lerner, Communications Director (English, French, German)