TASZ Supports CEU

A CEU elűzése Magyarországról alkotmányellenes
A felsőoktatási törvény módosítását tervezi a Kormány, aminek következtében jelentős nehézségekbe ütközne a külföldi egyetemek hazai működése. A felsőoktatási törvény jelenleg is biztosítja, hogy csak akkreditált, vagyis szakmai követelmények alapján engedélyezett működésű intézmények folytathassanak Magyarországon felsőoktatási tevékenységet. A Kormány tervezete azonban újabb feltételekhez kötné a külföldi egyetemek hazai működését: nem elég, ha külföldön akkreditált képzést biztosítanak Magyarországon, ezt ezentúl csak akkor tehetnék meg, ha külföldön is oktatnak. Sőt: a tervezet értelmében csak a Kormány "elvi támogatását" élvező külföldi egyetemek működhetnének hazánkban. A felsőoktatási törvény tervezett módosításai alkotmányellenesek, mivel önkényesen korlátozzák a kutatás valamint a tanítás és a tanulás szabadságát."

"Dear Dr. Ignatieff,

Dear CEU Community,

The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU), an NGO that has been working for more than 20 years to protect and promote human rights in Hungary, wishes to express solidarity with CEU's fight for academic freedom, and offers assistance in this struggle to the CEU Community.

The HCLU shares the opinion that recent legislative changes which would effectively make it impossible for CEU to continue its operation in Hungary are unconstitutional and violate international human rights standards. The new legal environment specifically targets CEU, an institution well-known for its commitment to constitutional democracy, rule of law and human rights. But the assault on one institution's autonomy also exerts a chilling effect on free academic inquiry all over Hungary, and possibly well beyond.

Standing up for CEU is crucial because there is no democratic society without rich, pluralistic academic inquiry free of political pressure. Universities are unique sources of social criticism, innovation and reflection that—much like civil society more generally—increase the accountability of any government, irrespective of its political leanings. Thus universities, by their very nature, serve the democratic public. This is why freedom of academic inquiry and higher education has become a sine qua non of constitutional democracies all over the world. The European Court of Human Rights, whose jurisprudence determines human rights minimum standards for our entire region, has protected academic freedom. In 1848, when Hungary decided to join the family of constitutional democracies for the first time in its history, it was one of the priorities of the Hungarian Parliament to guarantee freedom of education in Hungarian universities (Act XIX of 1848). Continuing our best constitutional traditions, freedom of academic inquiry and higher education also enjoyed the unfailing protection of the Hungarian Constitutional Court in the past decades. And in the same spirit, it is at the heart of the HCLU's mission to protect and promote fundamental democratic rights in Hungary. The HCLU would thus like to offer not only solidarity, but also its expertise in constitutional and international human rights remedies to CEU in its struggle against unlawful interference with its autonomy.

We are well aware, though, that not only CEU as an institution needs support in these challenging times. Thousands of brave individuals and groups have raised their voices against the attempt to undermine CEU's operation in Budapest. And these protests, we hope, are not likely to end any time soon. Students, faculty members, staff and allies, some of them Hungarian citizens, others far from their homes and more vulnerable in a foreign place, have shown their commitment to freedom in this country. Their protest serves freedom and democracy for all of us in Hungary, and they deserve our active support. Yet press reports suggest that protesters do occasionally face challenges in exercising their right to voice their opinions, and some of those who sympathize with CEU may not be fully aware of their rights, lacking information necessary to effectively exercise them. As protests in support of CEU concern public affairs, and criticize a decision made by public authorities, they clearly merit constitutional protection. The Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (HCLU) therefore offers free legal advice, and if necessary, free legal representation, to current and future protesters, drawing on its vast experience in the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.

We encourage all members of the CEU Community and allies to turn to us if they need any legal advice in standing up for CEU. Information on our hotline and other contact options for protesters can be found here: https://tasz.hu/gyulekezesi-jog/tasz-tamogatja-ceu-eluzese-ellen-tiltakozokat-hclu-supports-protesters-against

We stand with CEU.

Dr. Stefánia Kapronczay, Executive Director        

Dr. Máté Dániel Szabó, Director of Programs

Dr. Attila Mráz, Head of the Freedom in Education Program"