Joint statement of the Polish, German and Austrian Rectors' Conferences

Polish, German and Austrian Rectors’ Conferences call upon the Hungarian Government to preserve the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

2019. július 17.

The three Rectors’ Conferences CRASP, HRK, uniko jointly express their concerns about the Hungarian parliament’s recent legislation to reorganise the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, which is expected to take effect in September. The measures threaten to compromise its academic freedom and institutional autonomy by establishing direct government control and eliminating its basic operational funding.

This infringes upon the internationally applied and accepted principles of academic freedom and the self-governance of scientific institutions. What is more, it also undermines the traditionally excellent and internationally renowned Hungarian science base, thus jeopardising Hungary’s strong European and global research partnerships. The intervention is a clear breach of the principles of a free and democratic Europe. Such a drastic step would set an alarming example, undermining shared European values.

We therefore urge the Hungarian Government to withdraw the bill before it enters into force and to uphold and guarantee the autonomy of Hungarian academic organisations and institutions. We furthermore regret the lack of thorough consultation with all relevant stakeholders in preparing this legislation and therefore support the Hungarian scientific community in their demand for a sound dialogue between government and legislative authorities and the scientific community.