Even though Krétakör Foundation has not been in the headlines in the past weeks, recently we have also experienced how the government is trying to disable the critical NGOs. The message of the Government Control Office (KEHI) investigations in May 2014 ordered personally by the prime minister against the 62 organizations that were directly funded by the Norwegian state, was that the NGOs mean threat. The government’s latest campaign against the NGOs also declares the reason why: because NGOs are uncontrollable.
Our experience at the Krétakör Foundation is different. Since 2015 the National Tax and Customs Administration (NAV) has launched two audits. Both procedures were standard audits; we cooperated with NAV in accordance with the regulations. This 24-months cooperation, however, had serious effects on our organisation. Because while we were at the authority’s disposal for hundreds of man-hours with documentations and answers to their question, due to lack of capacity we had to cancel a number of our programs and we couldn’t realize important plans.
Hatred propaganda against civil organisations
The support of the NGOs is based on their relationship with the citizens and on the trust of the community. The credibility of the organizations is particularly important because based on that we collect donations necessary for our operation. In our experience the government propaganda is busy making more and more people question the work of the NGOs. Its success is not measured by the decrease of the willingness of people to support us but in that we regularly receive phone calls, e-mails or even paper messages stuck on to our mail box or door, which show that there are people today whose personal mission is to fight against us.
According to the government the NGOs would pose a threat against Hungary: the NGOs are acclaimed professionals working independently without any state support which mean that these organisatons are free from the obligation of blind loyalty towards the state and can decide themselves what they wish to do. The government has been turning a deaf ear to our professional recommendations for years – in fact, they are trying to clear away even any constructive criticism. For years we have been implementing public tasks instead of the state, without any state support.
Since the spring of 2014 Krétakör has not received any direct state support. In 2015 we closed the last projects that were financed from state sources. Our projects and operating costs are financed from ticket sales, project-related international cooperations and from private donations. The question, then, arises: on what ground does the state keep vexing NGOs that operates without any kind of state support?