Recent developments of Hungary's state policy towards independent non-governmental organisations (NGOs) has been a cause for concern. NGOs have been labelled as agents of “foreign influence”, accused of being politically motivated, and have seen their offices raided by police. Since 2010, when ruling Fidesz party came to power, the authorities have taken progressive steps to limit the space for civil society and independent media, and to alter the constitutional system of checks and balances in favour of the executive. Extreme right-wing groups have targeted and threatened human rights defenders.
In March 2013, Constitutional amendments were passed that limited the authority of the Constitutional Court. This came in response to Constitutional Court's rulings against a number of government-backed laws criminalising homelessness, making voters' registration mandatory, and limiting religious freedom. Shortly thereafter, the laws found by the Court to be unconstitutional were re-introduced.
The recent crackdown on independent NGOs started in August 2013, when a ruling party's spokesperson declared that “fake NGOs” receive foreign funding to undermine the country's government.Since June 2014 approximately sixty NGOs have had to submit documents for the government's “independent audit”. Among the groups targeted by the government are those defending civil rights, women rights and fighting against corruption.