CEU Calls on Hungarian Government to Initiate Direct Talks

Budapest, April 12, 2017 -- Central European University (CEU) welcomes the U.S. government’s expression of full support for CEU’s fight for academic freedom and its right to remain in Budapest, most recently in remarks by State Department spokesperson Mark C. Toner. Secondly, and just as significantly, the European Commission has announced its decision to swiftly complete a thorough legal assessment of Hungary’s Higher Education law and decide on further steps in the next infringement cycle. This is a remarkable step by the European Commission. CEU greatly appreciates the extraordinary base of international support shown during the past two weeks.

CEU is aware of a proposal by State Secretary for Education Laszlo Palkovics expressed in an interview in the media. CEU is open to any lawful and long-term solution that would ensure academic freedom and institutional integrity. The solution evoked by State Secretary Palkovics in the press does not appear to be legally and operationally coherent and certain. CEU has not been approached directly by Secretary Palkovics with this information. Exchanges in the press are no substitute for sustained direct contact on a confidential basis. We look to the Hungarian government to initiate negotiations with CEU so that we can resolve this and go back to work, with our academic freedom secured, without limits or duration.