As thousands continue to protest against Viktor Orbán’s plans to curb Hungary’s academic freedom by seizing control of the country’s leading scientific research body, the Left in the European Parliament is throwing its full solidarity behind the campaign against this latest power grab.
first published at the Website of the GUE/NGL;
In addition to imposing direct political control over the 200 year-old Academy of Sciences (Magyar Tudományos Akadémia, MTA), a council of Orbán-appointed cronies will get to decide how and where academic research in Hungary will be funded.
Crucially, such a move would also allow the ruling Fidesz Party to gain direct access to EU budgets destined for academia and sciences. Orbán’s latest act comes after numerous infringements upon EU rules through judiciary and media interference.
Commenting on the development, MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat (Independent, France) said:
“Viktor Orbán keeps undermining all the institutions that are standing in his way. He manipulates democracy through the tyranny of the majority – trampling all over Article 2 of the EU Treaty and European values.”
“The rule of law is dead in Hungary and both the Council and the Commission did nothing for shameful, political reasons even though we at the European Parliament had demanded action,” she added.