The head of an organization funded by George Soros described how the group used its influence on one government to pressure another country for the benefit of the Hungarian-American billionaire.
The Civil Liberties Union for Europe is headed by Balázs Dénes, the group’s Berlin-based executive director. The organization was spun off from Soros’s Open Society Foundation in January 2017.
In recordings of a meeting in Amsterdam in January – between Dénes and someone he thought was a supporter – Dénes talked about his organization’s work to pressure Hungary to overturn a law limiting foreign funding for NGOs that was an attempt to rein in Soros’s activities in the country. The European Commission has said the law goes against the values of the European Union.
Dénes’s remarks show a focused effort by his organization to influence Hungarian law by leveraging German influence against the country. He detailed attempts to convince Germany to put heavy economic pressure on Budapest to abrogate the NGO law, because German companies have invested heavily and are major employers in Hungary.