Soros Group Warns Hungary NGOs Of ‘Extremely Limited’ Resources For Europe


(RFE/RL) — Open Society Foundations (OSF) has informed organizations in Hungary that rely on its support that a recent decision by the OSF’s board effectively puts an end to most of its activities in the European Union to dedicate those resources to other parts of the world, RFE/RL’s Hungarian Service has learned.

The OSF’s resources for Europe will be “extremely limited,” an August 11 e-mail told those local groups.

The OSF, formerly known as the Open Society Institute, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars since it was established with a multibillion-dollar endowment from Hungarian-born founding Chairman George Soros to boost civil society around the world since the fall of communism in 1989.

Several Hungarian NGOs confirmed to RFE/RL’s Hungarian Service their receipt on August 11 of the OSF e-mail, which cites the board’s decision “on a radical strategic change of direction” to achieve maximum impact. 

With the organizational restructuring planned for next year, many European programs could be concluded as early as 2024. 

An OSF spokesperson confirmed the strategic reorganization in statements to RFE/RL while saying the group would “continue to fund civil-society groups across Europe,” including those that work on EU external affairs or support Romany communities. 

“We will also continue to be a funder of human rights, democracy, and accountable government across the region, most notably in Ukraine, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, and the Western Balkans through the work of our national foundations,” the statement said.

It added that the organization of most of its specific grants would be “determined over the coming months.” 

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and many of his Fidesz allies have been vocal critics of Soros’s role in the region, as well as of the Open Society groups’ long-term efforts to advance education, justice, and independent media in former Soviet and Eastern Bloc states. 

The OSF closed its Budapest offices in 2018 and moved them to Berlin, citing “an increasingly repressive political and legal environment in Hungary.”

George Soros, 93, put son Alexander Soros in charge of Open Society Foundations earlier this year ahead of expected layoffs and “significant changes” to its structure. 

In late June, the OSF announced “significant changes to the Foundations’ operating model” and said management would implement the changes in “the coming months.”


RFE/RL journalists report the news in 21 countries where a free press is banned by the government or not fully established.

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