Hungary has decided to withdraw its membership from the OGP, following a disagreement with the OGP Steering Committee on a report.
Hungary became a member of the OGP in 2012 and submitted two national action plans. Contributions of civil society were included in each of them. According to the institution, “the OGP Independent Reporting Mechanism report for this plan (2013-2014) found that 10 out of the 16 milestones were completed” assessed the OGP IRM (Independent Reporting Mechanism), a group of independent experts in charge of measuring the application of commitments.
Hungary had been under review by the open government institution since July 2015 “for concerns raised by civil society organisations regarding their space to operate in the country”, the OGP explained. Representatives of civil society in Hungary submitted a letter of concern “about the deterioration of civic space” in the country. Those complaints were considered as valid after “extensive research and consultation with the government”, the OGP added. The partnership then sent a list of recommendations (DOC) to the Hungarian government.
For example, the OGP asked to “establish a Permanent Dialogue Mechanism (PDM) within 60 days of receiving the recommendations”. “The PDM will work with a broader group of civil society actors to, develop new commitments within 90 days of establishing the PDM”, was also recommended by the OGP.
“Unsubstantiated and intrusive by nature”
However, Hungary considered that the final OGP report “did not reflect the considerations provided by Hungary and that the report was not adopted as a result of a meaningful dialogue, where the perspective of all sides are taken into account”.
“Thus the recommendations of the OGP are unsubstantiated and intrusive by nature”, concluded the Hungarian government in its letter, considering that the procedure “is not a constructive and adequate way of addressing the issues that the OGP originally was established for”.