US urges Hungary to suspend law threatening Soros-founded university

US urges Hungary to suspend law threatening Soros-founded university

Recent amendments to the country's higher education law have been viewed by many as an attack on Budapest-based Central European University, founded by Hungarian-born American financier George Soros in 1991.

Openly questioning Hungary's commitment just a couple of weeks ago when Victor Orban signed the conclusions of the EU Summit for a united EU.

Timmermans's remarks came two days after Hungarian President Janos Ader ratified the controversial act neglecting a mass demonstration urging him to not to sign the regulation.

"We need to quickly complete a thorough legal assessment of [the new law's] compatibility with the free movement of services and the freedom of establishment", Timmermans told journalists in Brussels.

Leading academics from around the world, as well as European Union and U.S. officials, have denounced the changes, however, and said they appear to be part of a broad campaign to put pressure on civil society - especially groups funded by Mr Soros.

Brussels said Austria had chose to join the relocation programme after being previously exempted as it had taken in 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015 thanks to its position on one of the key migratory routes into Europe.

CEU itself was taken by surprise at Palkovics' comments, according to an emailed statement.

"The solution evoked by State Secretary Palkovics in the press does not appear to be legally and operationally coherent and certain", the university said.

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But the Hungarian government says it will not respond to the campaign, saying CEU has a year to comply with the new rules.

"CEU has not been approached directly by secretary Palkovics with this information".

Government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs said the government would not suspend the disputed law but added: "We are going to have talks with everyone; if the Soros university is driven by good intentions, it will be able to solve the problem".

Timmermans said the Soros-funded Central European University (CEU) was a "pearl" that must be protected, and the bloc was evaluating the new education law to decide whether to launch an infringement case - a measure that could eventually but only after lengthy negotiations land Hungary in Europe's top court.

"Exchanges in the press are no substitute for sustained direct contact on a confidential basis". This is now not the case for CEU and the condition is seen as targeting especially CEU.

Tibor Navracsics said last week: "the Central European University is one of the most important universities not only in Hungary"...

The United States has called on Hungary to suspend implementation of a law that Washington says threatens the continued operation of a Budapest university founded by US financier George Soros.

The EU executive has "resolved to use all the instruments at our disposal under the Treaties to uphold the values on which our Union is grounded", Timmermans told reporters.

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