In all respects, the European Court of Justice upheld the European Commission’s objections in the infamous amendment to the Hungarian Higher Education Act in 2017, in the infringement proceedings initiated against the lex CEU – according to the judgment published by the Luxembourg-based body on Tuesday.
– writes the communication sent to the Index.
The amendment to the law, unofficially named after the Central European University (CEU) founded by György Soros, stated that a foreign higher education institution outside the European Economic Area (EEA) can only pursue educational activities in Hungary if it also pursues education in its home country. his mother country contracts with the Orbán government, (The EEA then included 28 EU member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.)
However, the court argues that it is a condition of the contract between the mainland and the Orbán government
The condition of education in the mainland conflicts with two other directives in addition to the WTO agreement,
But according to the European Court of Justice, the two conditions
In the last paragraph of the judgment, the European Court of Justice states that the 2017 amendment to the law is suitable for
Following the court ruling, a dispute will begin between the European Commission and Hungary over whether the Orbán government is willing to allow the matter and change the law so that it does not violate EU law. If the Orbán government refrains from doing so (and it’s hard enough to imagine letting go, as it would be a huge loss of prestige), the European Commission could go to the European Court of Justice again.
The home country of the CEU is the United States, where education is a federal state. The condition that he continue to train in his home country was fulfilled by the CEU in cooperation with Bard College in New York, but the Orbán government nevertheless refused to sign the agreement. For this reason, CEU had to move its US-accredited training courses from Budapest to Vienna, accounting for about 80 percent of all training.
The lex CEU was submitted by Zoltán Balog, former Minister of Human Resources, on 1 April 2017. On the proposal of Deputy Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, the two-thirds Fidesz majority of the National Assembly adopted it in an exceptional procedure four days later. For this reason, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure that month.
You can read more about the background of all this in our article.
(Cover image: European Court of Justice building in Luxembourg. Photo: picture alliance / Getty Images Hungary)