Hungarian president rubber stamps legislation targeting CEU

By bne IntelliNews April 10, 2017

Hungarian President Janos Ader signed the highly contentious legal amendment that has become knows as the “lex CEU” on April 10.

The amendment to Hungary’s higher education law has been widely interpreted as an attempt by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government to close Central European University (CEU), which is sponsored by George Soros. The issue has thrust Budapest back into international headlines, with critics at the very highest levels across the world claiming Orban continues to damage democracy.

The prospect of Hungary losing its top ranking university in an ideological war with Orban brought also around 80,000 protesters out onto Budapest’s streets on April 9. The event was the largest anti-Orban demonstration ever, and possible the biggest non-nationalist protest in Hungary since the 1989 change of regime. 

However, Ader - a close confidante of the PM - was unnmoved. The president, who was reappointed by the ruling Fidesz party earlier this year, said: “I examined the constitutionality of the bill in the time available to me and found it to be in compliance with international treaties. The amendment does not violate the constitution’s article ten on the freedom of learning and teaching."

“The two new laws impose conditions on the activities of foreign higher education institutions in Hungary: they do not violate the constitutional rule of international treaties, nor do they conflict with EU directives,” Ader added.

CEU has accused the government, which further tightened the amendment the day before it was passed by parliament on April 4, of rendering its freedom to run academic programmes in Hungary impossible.

The law has even caused major ructions in the European Peoples Party, the conservative European parliamentary bloc to which Orban's Fidesz party belongs. That is despite the grouping having stayed silent on many of the democratic intrusions since Orban returned to power in 2010. 

Ader insisted that he is “convinced that with a common and mutual good will" any issues surrounding lex CEU "can be solved within the time limits provided for by law”. The work of foreign universities in Hungary will “continue seamlessly,” he also predicted.

Related Articles

Waberer’s finally set to deliver an IPO on Hungarian bourse

Hungarian trucking company Waberer’s International is preparing for an IPO on the Budapest Stock Exchange in July, according to media claims. If accurate, the reports will be hugely welcome in ... more

Hungarian PM's "proxy" moves into the nuclear industry as Paks tenders approach

Firms controlled by Hungarian oligarch Lorinc Meszaros have purchased a 51% stake in the Hungarian subsidiary of Czech nuclear ... more

RBI doubles net profit y/y in Q1 as Russian business recovers

Raiffeisen Bank International (RBI), the second largest bank operating across Central and Eastern Europe by assets, reported that net profit almost doubled year-on-year to €220mn in the first ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss