Recently, George Soros Group has left Hungary:

Citing "an increasingly repressive political and legal environment" in Hungary, the OSF said in a statement that its decision to quit the country comes amid a crackdown on non-governmental organizations launched by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who won re-election to his fourth term in a landslide victory last month.

Orban's party has managed to secure a super-majority for the third time in a row, so it has a great power at all political levels (e.g. this allows even to change the Constitution):

Hungary’s Civic Alliance (Fidesz), led by the prime minister, Viktor Orbán, and his junior coalition partner, the Christian Democratic Peoples’ Party (KDNP), has decisively won a third super-majority in the country’s national election.

Previous wins in 2010 and 2014 have enabled Orbán to radically change the Hungarian constitution. He rolled back democratic checks and balances to build what he described as an “illiberal democracy”. This latest victory for Fidesz will serve to consolidate this shift away from the European liberal political mainstream. Orbán is now firmly entrenched as a major political thorn in the side of the EU and a champion of populist politics for the continent’s right wing.

Considering above, I am wondering why invest so much effort evicting some NGOs, when there is virtually no significant opposition.

Question: Why does Orbán concentrate so much in fighting some NGOs?

3 Answers 3


Orbán believes that they are a significant opposition:

The Prime Minister has accused [Soros] of meddling in the international affairs of countries and trying to flood the EU and Hungary with migrants.

This ties into antisemitic conspiracy theories:

From Russia to the United States, the currently ascendant nationalist right has transformed Soros from a human being into a synecdoche for a shadowy, powerful cabal bent on transforming Western countries into something alien and unrecognizable—a rhetorical maneuver conspicuous in hundreds of years of European anti-Semitism.

While Orbán has all the political power, he can still be afraid of a shadowy group of people who are secretly manipulating events to increase immigration and thus destroy the Hungarian government, bring down its "Christian culture", and turn Europe into a "mixed population". These are classic antisemitic themes which are not necessarily open to reason or facts (eg Orbán actually having all the political power).

  • Soro's influence is the opposite of secret (I'm sure he's proud of it, after all) and after the fall of the wall it's also quite left-wing (as nearly all ngos are).
    – John
    Dec 18, 2019 at 10:55
  • @John If you have sources showing that Soros proudly claims to flood the EU with migrants to bring down it's Christian culture, feel free to add them. Otherwise I'll stand by my answer. A lot of things attributed to him are based on false and antisemitic conspiracy theories, so this is a topic where vague allusions to 'influence' are dangerous.
    – tim
    Dec 18, 2019 at 11:43
  • That’s quite the thing to read out of “left-wing”.
    – John
    Dec 18, 2019 at 11:52
  • @John It's directly from my answer. Orban's opposition to Soros isn't based on his actual, marginal influence on Hungarian politics, but based on antisemitic conspiracy theories.
    – tim
    Dec 18, 2019 at 12:00
  • Exactly. In particular, it’s not from my comment. Just because some people think he’s an extremist doesn’t mean he can’t be a more moderate leftist, which is what you denied.
    – John
    Dec 18, 2019 at 12:19

It probably have to do with the election. Orbán paints himself and his party as an underdog fighting against "the elite", but when you have almost full control of the country it's a bit hard to do that so he had to invent an enemy and George Soros is vary convenient as Orbán then also can tie the campaign to anti-Semitism.

  • 2
    Yes, it is clearly convenient to have an enemy, but forcing his NGOs out means that he has to invent another enemy.
    – Alexei
    May 16, 2018 at 9:45
  • 3
    @Alexei are you sure you are familiar with politics ? Politicians never run out of scapegoat.
    – mootmoot
    May 16, 2018 at 13:17


  1. Some NGOs promote policies that directly contradict political platforms of some governments. Specifically, Soros and anyone he funds tend to be radically "left" (or rather, progressive to be more precise), and push for policies directly opposite those desired by the "right".

    Very specifically. Soros's NGOs are heavily pro-unrestricted immigration, which is in polar opposition to many right wing parties (which has little to do with Orban or Hungary per se, as Soros is also opposed by even mainstream right wing parties from US's Republicans to Israel's Likud and Israel Betienu).

  2. Some NGOs are extremely powerful and capable, with resources and influence on par with governments.

    Specifically, Soros' funded NGOs have thousands of people, virtually unlimited funds supplied by Soros (who's a finance billionaire) and enormous influence.

    Here's a hungarian article about Soros' NGO (I assume it's a pro-Orban source, but any claims in it can be verified)

    According to a recently uncovered statement by Tracie Ahern, former chief financial officer of the Soros Fund Management, the billionaire financier commands a quasi-mercenary force of at least 2,000 people, tasked with achieving three goals: bringing down Prime Minister Orbán’s government, dismantling the border fence, and promoting immigration to Hungary.

    The statement marked the latest in a series of revelations of Soros-funded efforts that attempt to influence public life in Hungary and oppose the work of the democratically elected government. Earlier this month, the Jerusalem Post broke a story about how a Soros-funded NGO in Berlin, headed by a Hungarian national, is actively lobbying the German government to apply pressure on Hungary to change laws on NGO transparency. A few weeks ago, I posted on a Hungarian media report about an astonishing revelation that George Soros spent more than 14 million USD in 2017 lobbying the US government against Hungary. We’ve also called attention repeatedly to his Open Society network’s lobbying efforts in Brussels (here and here). Hungarian media also reported on a Soros-funded NGO illegally collecting data on migrants.

  • 5
    You have presented no facts and only loaded language such as "radical left". The only reference is a doubtful article from a doubtful website. It is normal and expected that NGOs – as well as other types of organisations such as think-tanks – lobby for change, especially when it comes to topics such as human rights. You will have to do a lot better to demonstrate that Soros is promoting a "radically left" agenda with his alleged "enormous influence".
    – user11249
    May 16, 2018 at 15:08
  • 3
    @Carpetsmoker - right. Jerusalem Post is a very doubtful website. I mean they are a left wing Israeli newspaper but who cares. Do you have any rebuttals to actual facts of what Soros' NGOs did based on the quote? Also, don't give me that "loaded language" BS please. There's an avalanch of upvotes on Tim's answer that is 80% consiting of baseless "anyone opposing Soros is anti-semitic". Somehow that doesn't seem like a "loaded language" compared to "radical left"?
    – user4012
    May 16, 2018 at 15:17
  • 6
    The only thing in the Jerusalem Post article is that Soros lobbied to overturn Hungray's anti-Soros law that the European Commission considers "against the values of the European Union". I don't see anything wrong or unusual about that. Do you have any rebuttals to actual facts of what Soros' NGOs did based on the quote: It's your job to prove your claims, not my job to disprove them. That article doesn't prove anything other than that Soros lobbied to change a rather curious law that superficially targeted him. Whoopdiedoo, what a radical leftist!
    – user11249
    May 16, 2018 at 15:31
  • Ehm, "superficially" was meant to be "especially" in the last comment >_<
    – user11249
    May 16, 2018 at 16:20
  • 1
    "Some NGOs promote policies that directly contradict political platforms of some governments." That was not really the question. The question was why Orban was attacking those NGOs so viciously, even declaring them the prime state enemies, despite them being quite insignificant. 14 million USD (spent in the US) and 2000 employees doesnt really seem that much. Compare this to the size of the apparatus that is under control of Orban and his supporters.
    – Thern
    May 18, 2018 at 8:47

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