This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Academic freedom in Hungary under threat

Priority Written Question

On April 3rd, together with MEP's Sophie in 't Veld, Nathalie Griesbeck, Cecilia Wikström, Guy Verhofstadt, Louis Michel, Petr Ježek, Angelika Mlinar, Enrique Calvet Chambon, Beatrice Becerra, Gérard Deprez, Maite Pagazaurtundúa, Ivan JAKOVČIĆ, Jozo RADOŠ, Izaskun Bilbao Barandica and Catherine Bearder, Marietje Schaake asked the following questions to the European Commission on the proposed closure of the Central European University in Budapest by Hungarian authorities.


“Universities are pillars of our society. They are a vital source of innovation. In central Europe, before 1989, they were bastions of freedom, keeping alive free thought”, stated Commissioner-designate Navracsics at his hearing on 1 October 2014. The Central European University (CEU), founded in Budapest in 1991, is the highest ranked university in Hungary according to the Commission’s U-Multirank. On 28 March 2017, the Hungarian government tabled amendments to Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education, a law that has been subject to Commission’s intervention before [1], setting new conditions on foreign universities operating in Hungary.

- Does the Commission agree that, once adopted, these amendments would seriously constrain the activities and autonomy of, or even outlaw the CEU?

- What actions will the Commission take to safeguard academic freedom, quality education and a pluralist society in Hungary, as enshrined in Article 2 TEU, Article 165 TEU and Article 13 of the Charter?

- What will be the implications for EU funding, including European Research Council grants and the 25 million EUR European Investment Bank (EIB) loan [2], if the CEU is forced to cease operations?

[1] Petition 0075/2012