April 13th, 2017

US State Department urges gov’t to suspend implementation of Lex CEU

The United States Department of State is urging the Hungarian government to suspend implementation of an amended law on higher education, acting spokesman Mark Toner said at a press briefing in Washington, DC. He said the US government is very concerned about the legislation which was passed by Hungary’s parliament last week and signed into law by the president this week..

“So we’re urging the Hungarian government to suspend implementation of the law. We want to see a review and discussion in order to address any concerns through dialogue with the university itself and other affected institutions going forward,” he added. He described CEU as “a leading academic institution” and “an important conduit for intellectual and cultural exchanges between Hungary and the United States”. “And frankly, it’s at the centre of freethinking and research. The legislation, we believe, can also similarly threaten the operations of other American universities with degree programmes in Hungary, so it goes beyond just Central European University,” Toner said.

State secretary for education László Palkovics said in Brussels on Tuesday that the government “had no intention of closing down CEU” and the amended law on higher education “only served to resolve certain issues”.

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