Parliament has passed the bill concerning the Academy

Members of parliament have voted in favour of the motion titled “The modification of particular laws necessary for the transformation of the institutional system and financing of the research, development and innovation system”. Consequently, the research network will be separated from the Academy. 131 MPs voted in favour, 53 against and 3 abstained.

The backbone of the government’s plan is to found the “Eötvös Loránd Research Network” (ELKH) which would consist of the research institutes separated from the Academy. In order for its operation this “new” network would absorb the Academy’s properties, part of its central administration and its winning grants and scholarships.

The government justified its move, which would transform the entire system of Hungarian scientific life, by saying that the bill would pave the way for the framework of a new science and innovation policy. Furthermore, it would also contribute to the renewal of the RDI system and lay the foundations for the funding of this new innovation and science policy as well as for exploratory and applied research.

However, the Hungarian scientific community has made it abundantly clear that it is against the government’s plan relating to the Academy. The reasons for this are simple: the bill stands in contrast with basic European research funding principles and seriously endangers academic freedom.