NGOs are “spooked” by a new study ordered by Brussels, sources have told the outlet
European Commission vice-president in charge for Values and Transparency Vera Jourova © AFP / Kenzo Tribouillard
A survey commissioned by the EU could signal that Brussels is getting ready to introduce its own foreign agents law, Politico reported on Monday.
NGOs and consultancies are said to be “spooked” over the potential move, which could mean they would have to report any foreign funding to the European Commission, the outlet said.
Three sources told Politico that a study, performed by a third party on behalf of the Commission and asking non-profit organizations to reveal if they receive any funding from outside the EU, has been circulating in Brussels.
According to the sources, the question made some groups worry that by answering it they were “effectively putting themselves on a future list.”
The study “took a lot of people back,” said Nick Aiossa, the head of policy and advocacy at Transparency International, a German-registered NGO set up with the goal of tackling corruption worldwide. The group is linked to Open Society Foundations – a grantmaking network founded and chaired by controversial investor and sponsor of neoliberal causes George Soros.
Aiossa told Politico that he took part in an oral questionnaire as part of the survey and that the “guiding questions suggested they were evaluating whether Transparency International was a threat to democracy.”