CEU Condemns Attempt to Intimidate Academics, Journalists, NGOs in Figyelo

April 12, 2018

Budapest, April 12, 2018 – Central European University (CEU) strongly condemns the listing of academics, employees of non-governmental organizations and journalists in Figyelo magazine. Any academic associated with CEU is a distinguished scholar who has earned an appointment at the university through peer-reviewed publications and a strong teaching reputation.

“The publication of such a list, in the context of the recent election campaign, is contemptible,” said CEU President and Rector Michael Ignatieff. “This is a flagrant attempt at intimidation that is dangerous for academic freedom and therefore for all of Hungarian academic life.”

CEU also finds it unacceptable that those who work for an organization supported by George Soros would be called ‘mercenaries.’ In CEU’s case, as we have said, the university administration answers to a 21-member Board of Trustees, not to our founder, George Soros. CEU is proud of its association with each of its founders—among them academics, public servants, and civic-minded leaders, including then-president of Hungary Arpad Goncz; Czech president Vaclav Havel; and Polish historian and foreign affairs minister Bronislaw Geremek—and their shared vision for a graduate university to provide future leaders with an education based on critical thinking, open debate, and academic inquiry.

CEU also condemns the attempt at intimidation of NGOs, which in a democracy carry out the important work of analysis, awareness-raising and advocacy of societal issues and development of solutions that serve the greater good.

CEU is determined to remain in Budapest despite such attempts at intimidation. CEU seeks to remain in Budapest on the basis of the agreement negotiated last year by the Government of Hungary and the State of New York. CEU calls on the Prime Minister to sign this agreement without further delay and in doing so to create a climate in which academic freedom and scientific research can flourish in Hungary.

Colleen Sharkey
International Media Relations Manager, Central European University
M: +36 30 916 2273
E-mail: sharkeyc@ceu.edu