PES: EPP must respond to attack on academic freedom in Hungary


Central European University

The attack by Victor Orbán’s Fidesz government on academic freedom in Europe must be unequivocally condemned by the European People’s Party, according to the Party of European Socialists.

We have already strongly condemned Orban’s political attack on the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest. It’s now time for the EPP to state clearly its own position, especially given that some of its representatives have already done so.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“Orbán’s blatant attack on the CEU is a triple concern.

“It is frightening, firstly, because academic freedom is a cornerstone of healthy democracy. Attacks on independent educational institutions have often been an early warning sign of a country’s slide into dictatorship.

“It is frightening, secondly, because it is so blatant. Orbán now no longer bothers to present an even slightly convincing explanation for his increasingly authoritarian manoeuvres.

“And it is frightening, finally, because the EPP seems hesitant to react in an appropriate way, even on a pure academic matter – casting a shadow of doubt over democratic values of the entire European Union.”