(Civilizáció) Under the lead of the coalition Civilizáció, more than a hundred NGOs have joined a common manifesto published on the occasion of the 15 March 2019 public holiday, in which they declare their shared democratic values. At the same time they demand the withdrawal of the government’s measures aiming to restrict the activities of the civil sector, and the cessation of the government’s media smear-campaigns against NGOs.
Our Common Values – Civilization Manifesto
14. March 2019. – Budapest: Statement of the undersigned civil society organizations
Everyone is a ‘civil’ who makes efforts to make our world and Hungary a better and more livable place, where everyone’s dignity and rights are respected, and where no one is left behind. To do this, we must preserve our independence, and guarantee the freedom of opinion and worldview, as well as a peaceful and fearless atmosphere that is in the interest of all of us. It is the duty of the Hungarian government to create these, and it is our, the citizen’s responsibility to participate in the shaping and preservation of these.
We, the undersigned civil society organizations:
- stand for the freedom of civic self-organization and the right for the democratic participation in public affairs
- support communities that stand for their interests and future
- work to ensure that everybody’s human rights are upheld in Hungary
- stand for the rights of minorities, for the deprived, and for solidarity: we act together for the disadvantaged of any kind
- protect the natural resources and treasures of Hungary
- act against the intimidation of civic activists, civil society organizations and civic self-organizing, against the shrinking of civil space, and we fight for the autonomy and independence of the civic sector
- share knowledge and experience with each other and with organizations working for similar purposes to enhance the opportunities of democratic participation and diverse civil society.
We believe that only a diverse, prosperous and fearless civil society can provide good answers to social problems. Only a versatile, colorful country can offer new and innovative responses to challenges while respecting the dignity of its citizens and the traditions of the community.
We believe that Hungarian society can only be free, strong and in solidarity if its citizens have the right and opportunity to discuss and solve matters that concern them together. One way of this is when citizens contribute to social dialogue in self-organized communities through active participation, and act for themselves and their peers, independently of political leadership and parties.
Political decision-making is necessary for the operation of the state and the responsibility of the the respective government. But it is also the government’s duty to take into account the diversity of opinions, to learn about different professional views, and to consider them when making decisions. It is an important task of the organizations signing the declaration to support the members of Hungarian society in representing their interests, preserving their democratic rights, dignity and values in all areas of life.
Every citizen has the right to stand up for goals that are important to him/her, and to act with his/her fellow citizens in communities and civic organizations. It is the responsibility of the state to ensure the conditions for this. That’s why we demand that:
- the government rebuilds and operates real forums for social participation, debate and consultation, and provides the opportunity for meaningful civil contribution and voice in decision-making and preparation
- the government immediately puts an end to the destructive, lying stigmatization and smear campaigns against independent civil society organizations in the public discourse
- the government and its institutions financially support civil society organizations in fulfilling their above tasks through open, transparent and unbiased distribution and allocation procedures
- the Parliament immediately repeals the laws stigmatizing civil society organizations, restricting their work (the “registration” act, the “Stop Soros” package) and reviews regulations governing the operation of civil society organizations with the involvement of stakeholders.
The signatories of this declaration are committed to working together to enforce the above, to maintain civic self-organization and autonomy, to develop a free and independent civil sector. We help each other with our knowledge and regular joint actions to work individually and together to make Hungary a peaceful and good place for everyone.
We are looking forward to the joining of further organizations.
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