european students’ union

Victory for Academic Freedom and Institutional Autonomy: Case C-66/18 Commission v Hungary

October 8, 2020

On Tuesday, the European Court of Justice, the highest court of the EU declared that the Hungarian government violated European human rights laws on academic freedom and university autonomy, EU laws on freedom of services and World Trade Organization rules guaranteeing freedom to operate a business when in 2017, the Hungarian parliament passed “lex CEU”. As a consequence of this, the Central European University in Budapest became the only university, since the 1930s, to be expelled from a European state as consequence of this law.

This is not only a victory for the fundamental values of the European Union but a clear sign that academic freedom requires the rule of law. Politically motivated attacks on academic freedom are direct hits to basic democratic principles of freedom, equity, fairness and justice. The whole of society is affected when its academic community lacks the freedom and autonomy to serve the public good because of the influence of the powerful few.

Find out more on this press release.

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