July 14th, 2017

Socialists to initiate special parliamentary session as EC steps up infringement procedure over Lex CEU

The European Commission has said it is stepping up an infringement procedure against Hungary over amendments to its higher education law tightening rules governing the operations of foreign universities in the country. The EC formally requested that Hungary take measures to remedy the situation in a “reasoned opinion”, the second step in an infringement procedure. Hungary now has one month to amend the law in question so that it complies with EU rules.

The EC launched the infringement procedure at the end of April, shortly after parliament passed the amendments. Critics of the law have said it puts the operations of Budapest’s Central European University under threat. If Hungary fails to address the EC’s concerns, the executive body could take the matter to the European Court of Justice.

The Socialist Party said it would initiate a special session of parliament to amend Hungary’s higher education law after the European Commission stepped up an infringement procedure against Hungary over earlier amendments to the law. Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi noted that if the Hungarian parliament and government fail to address the EC’s concerns over the law within the next month, the case could go to the European Court of Justice, which could leave Hungary with a hefty fine. The Socialists are therefore calling for parliament to hold an extraordinary session within the next four weeks to amend the higher education law, he said.

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