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Hungarian government delivers another blow to academic freedoms in Europe

The Central European University was founded in 1991 in order to respond to the challenges that Central European societies were facing after the fall of the iron curtain.

These efforts were not enough. Autocratic politicians like Viktor Orbán are gradually wiping out all dissent and all opposition. And the European People's Party continues to protect them so that the EPP group can get the MEPs they are set to send to the European Parliament after the next elections. Due to a rigged electoral process - which doesn’t seem to be a problem for the EPP.

The CEU leaving Budapest is first and foremost a massive blow to academic freedoms in Hungary. The university has complied with all the requirements put on it with the new law, including opening a campus in the US. Only one thing is missing - a contract signed by the US and Hungary. While the contract has been ready from the US side for months, the Hungarian counterparts have kept the university in a limbo. Now we know that this was nothing else than another cheap trick of the Orbán government. The students - those currently studying at CEU and those who will not be able to study there in the future - are the primary victims of these measures. If Orbán's regime can take such measures against an internationally recognised institution, imagine what signal it sends to everyone else, including people at the margins of our societies like refugees, Roma, LGBTQI or homeless people, all of whom have been a target of Orbán’s propaganda and policies in recent years.

As Young Greens, we extend our full support and solidarity to academia, civil society, dissidents, and everyone else who has to struggle to breath while the cynics in Orbán's sister parties are counting electoral seats.


(Photo: CEU)