World Bulletin / News Desk
The EU launched legal action against Hungary on Thursday over a crackdown on foreign-backed civil society groups that critics say targets US billionaire George Soros.
Brussels also announced that it is advancing a separate case over an education law that could shut a Soros-backed university, risking a fresh confrontation with Orban.
"We have studied the new law on NGOs carefully and have come to the conclusion that it does not comply with EU law," European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans said.
Timmermans said civil groups were "the very fabric of our democratic societies and therefore should not be unduly restricted".
"We await a reaction from the Hungarian authorities within a month."
Hungary's parliament approved the law last month which will force groups receiving more than 24,000 euros ($26,000) annually in overseas funding to register as a "foreign-supported organisation", or risk closure for non-compliance.
They will also have to use the label "foreign-supported organisation" on their websites, press releases and other publications.
Orban's government says the measures are aimed at improving transparency as well as fighting money laundering and terrorism funding.
After a low-key campaign, opinion polls put the conservative in the lead as he claims credit for the island's economic recovery since its debilitating financial crisis of 2013.
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