April 11th, 2017

Foreign minister: gov’t “ready to discuss” Lex CEU and bill on NGOs with US

Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó welcomed a decision by the US State Department to send a delegation to Budapest to inquire about the recently amended higher education law and a bill on civil groups to ensure their financial transparency. In the event of a visit by the US delegation, the government “will receive them and brief them all about it”, he said. Concerning the draft law on civil groups, Szijjártó insisted the planned requirement of registration for organisations receiving foreign support “would not cause difficulties in their operation”.

On April 3, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that the governments of Hungary and the US will discuss the issue of Budapest’s Central European University, in connection with new regulations on universities financed from foreign sources. Referring to the future of the CEU, which critics of the new legislation see as jeopardised, the prime minister said: “We will ask the Americans what they want”. Under the new law, foreign universities can only continue in Hungary if their operations are governed by an interstate agreement.

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  • Pali

    If all these down trodden hypocrites concerned with the CEU would have waited, they would have known the complete truth before they started their stupid demonstrations. Even with the truth out, the Lefties and idiots that pocess to back the the CEU, with still try to pull the Hungarian government down in the wake of the 2018 elections. It is being pointed out that no universities will be closed down under the new legislation, and they will be able to function under the new legislation as long as they conform to law. An issue has been created in Hungary which was totally unnecessary. This is obviously a way of getting at the government. These people that conducted this issue need to be ashamed of their stupid actions. Forinstance, the dancing “Barby Doll” needs kicking out of parliament. (MSP).

    • Hungarian

      To conform to the law CEU must do two things that are not possible.

      1) Open up a campus in the US within six months. Logistically impossible.

      2) Have the US negotiate with the Hungarian government regarding CEU. This is not something he US federal government does – ever.

      As a matter of a fact the US State Dept. representative who was sent to Hungary just said as much. That the Hungarian government must negotiate with the CEU directly. The US Federal government does not involve itself in the operations of Universities outside its borders. He also said that it was clear to the Hungarian government what was at stake with their relationship with the US.

      Orban had hoped to use this to project an image of himself as a great leader negotiating with the US. Didn’t work that way.

      They knew the complete truth as soon as they saw the text of the law. Pali is living in an alternative universe.

      • roderickbeck

        That is exactly right. So Orbán is faced with keeping the legislation intact and shutting down CEU or backing down. If CEU is shutdown, it will severely damage Hungary’s reputation and also discourage foreign investment. It will become almost completely internationally isolated.

        If Orbán backs down, he has still damaged the country’s reputation and suffered his third major defeat in the last two years (Internet tax and Olympics).

        • wolfi

          You might add the Sunday closing and general ideas of limiting “foreign owned” enterprises to your list – but of course O doesn’t give up on all these crazy ideas.

    • roderickbeck

      Baloney. The US delegation sent a clear message that if CEU is driven out of the country, US-Hungarian relations will be irreparably damaged. And yes, the legislation just passed does it make impossible for CEU to continue operating here. And the US has made it very clear they will not negotiate as required by the new Hungarian law. Hungary has to either rescind the legislation or face losing the United States as a friend.

    • roderickbeck

      Pali, you should stop the spin doctor routine. The government is obviously back tracking. The law as it stands clearly makes it impossible for CEU to operate.

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