- 14 Jul 2017 8:50 AM
The EC launched the infringement procedure at the end of April, shortly after parliament passed the amendments. Critics of the law have said it puts the operations of Budapest’s Central European University under threat. If Hungary fails to address the EC’s concerns, the executive body could take the matter to the European Court of Justice.
The opposition Socialist Party said it would initiate a special session of parliament to amend Hungary’s higher education law after the European Commission stepped up an infringement procedure against Hungary over earlier amendments to the law.
Socialist MEP István Ujhelyi noted that if the Hungarian parliament and government fail to address the EC’s concerns over the law within the next month, the case could go to the European Court of Justice, which could leave Hungary with a hefty fine. The Socialists are therefore calling for parliament to hold an extraordinary session within the next four weeks to amend the higher education law, he said.
In response, ruling Fidesz said that there was a “deceptive campaign assisted by the Socialists and Brussels” around the higher education law. Fidesz insisted that all foreign universities and countries affected by the law were cooperative and were ready to negotiate, with the exception of the “Soros university”. “No university is above the law,” the party added.
Hungary amended its higher education law to tighten rules governing the operations of foreign universities in the country in April. János Lázár, the government office chief, told his weekly news briefing that there was no point while related negotiations were still under way.
Republished with permission of Hungary Matters, MTI’s daily newsletter.