Hungarian NGOs receive warning of limited resources from OSF
OSF's resources for Europe will be notably constrained, as conveyed in an email sent to local groups on August 11.
Open Society Foundations (OSF), established by American-Hungarian billionaire George Soros, has informed its partner organizations in Hungary about a decision made by the OSF's board that will result in a reduction of its activities within the European Union. This move is allegedly intended to redirect resources toward other global regions.
While presenting itself as a philanthropic endeavor aimed at promoting democratic governance and human rights, critics argue that OSF serves as a tool of American "soft power" that erodes national sovereignty and favors global financial interests.
OSF's resources for Europe will be notably constrained, as conveyed in an email sent to local groups on August 11. The organization, previously known as the Open Society Institute, was established by George Soros in 1989.
Numerous Hungarian NGOs have confirmed the receipt of the OSF email, which outlines a strategic change of direction for maximum impact.
An OSF spokesperson acknowledged the strategic reorganization, stating that the organization would continue funding civil-society groups across Europe, particularly those engaged in EU external affairs and supporting Romany communities.
The statement also highlighted their alleged commitment to human rights, democracy, and accountable governance in regions such as Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and the Western Balkans through the work of their national foundations. The specifics of their grants will be determined in the following months.
The OSF has come under scrutiny from Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz allies, who have been vocal opponents of Soros' influence in the region, as well as the Open Society groups' alleged efforts to "enhance education, justice, and independent media" in former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states.
The OSF claimed that it moved its Budapest offices to Berlin in 2018 due to a "repressive political and legal climate in Hungary." In a leadership change earlier this year, George Soros appointed his son Alexander Soros to oversee the Open Society Foundations, anticipating substantial changes to its structure. In June, the organization announced significant changes to its operating model, which will be implemented in the coming months.
As the foundation continues to allocate significant resources and strategically expand its network, the long-term consequences of its involvement remain subjects of debate and analysis. The foundation has put more than $32 billion into various NGOs globally since 1988, placing the elder Soros under the spotlight for what many described as the fabricating and financing of color revolutions in countries that don't align with American interests and oppose Washington's agendas in various parts of the world - namely in Eastern Europe in the 1990s and most recently the 2014 coup in Ukraine.