Report on negotiations between the MTA and the ITM

Delegations from the MTA and the ITM last convened on 12 April 2019. As a result of detailed discussions starting on 1 April, a proposal package was completed. This package was discussed by the Presidium of the Academy on 16 April.

Summary of the negotiations by the strategic work groups

The task of the MTA-ITM strategic and organizational work group was to recommend a professionally justified management structure regarding the research network. Furthermore, to suggest steps that can help restore the faith of the research community as quickly as possible.

The MTA’s strategic work group have managed to achieve the following results:

  • The delegations unanimously supported that a smaller plenum in charge of the research network, like a Governing Body or Senate decide on the following: the founding and abolishing of independent institutions and centers as well as accepting their financing and operational rules and appointing directors in charge; furthermore that the founding and abolishing of independent institutions and centers and the altering of more than 15% of their financing be tied to a two third majority.
  • The delegations unanimously supported that the new institutional network management structure come into effect no sooner than 1 January 2020. All parts of the current research network will be reassigned to this as budgetary organizations under a public body.
  • The delegations unanimously supported that as of 1 January 2020, the research network’s direct (i.e. non-tender based) financing from the state budget be at least on par with the real value of 2018.
  • The delegations unanimously supported that the abolishing or founding of independent [legal entity] institutes only be possible after 1 January 2021 as decided by the Senate.
  • The delegations unanimously supported the public body structure regarding the new management of the research network.

The MTA’s strategic work group argued that this public body remain within the organizational structure of the Academy. At the same time, delegates of the ITM abandoned the idea that the MTA’s public body be in charge of the new organization.

The delegations failed to reach a consensus regarding the composition of the Senate. The Academy delegates recommended that a third of the members of the Senate (apart from the president), be appointed by the government, another third by the Academy and the remaining third by the research network. This recommendation was also supported by the heads of the research institutions and the heads of the Momentum (Lendület) research groups.

During their Monday meeting the director generals of the research network unanimously supported the strategic agreement and requested the leaders of the Academy to continue negotiations on this basis.

On 15 April, the ITM delivered its proposal regarding the operation of the research network. In order to discuss this proposal – which contains the novel concept of founding a research network under the name Eötvös Loránd – a number of details need to be clarified and amended. Among others, the proposal does not deal with the notion of the public body structure when it comes to the management of the research network. Furthermore, it also does not contain the majority of recommendations unanimously accepted by both the MTA and the ITM delegations mentioned above. In their 16 April resolution, leaders of the Momentum research groups declared that in its present form the ITM’s proposal is unacceptable for them also.

During its 16 April session the Presidium of the Academy accepted the following resolutions.

Presidential resolutions (16 April 2019)

The Academy considers the enforcement of the below positions essential when it comes to any kind of altering of the management of the research network:

  • the management of the research network should be based on the principles of self-government and corporate control within the framework of a legally autonomous organization;
  • the financing of the Academy research network should be guaranteed through a yearly governmental budget determined by Parliament, composed of well-defined elements, predetermined for several years, making it calculable as well as financially constant; further parts of the financing should come from excellence-based applications.

Based on the above the Presidium passed the following resolutions:

  1. The Presidium agrees that the president of the Academy submit all alternatives regarding the planned changes to the research network to the General Assembly for a vote including solutions that leave financing with the Academy as well as those that do not. The Presidium unequivocally supports changes that leave financing within the jurisdiction of the Academy.
  2. The Presidium accepts all resolutions made in consensus by the work groups of the MTA and the ITM and supports their submission to the General Assembly.
  3. The Presidium – referring to the ITM’s 14 April 2019 proposal concerning the composition of the Governing Body – considers it essential that the research network appoint one third of the delegates (except the president) of the Senate. The Presidium considers this point of fundamental importance when it comes to the reorganization of the governing structure, and an inevitable prerequisite for accepting the planned reforms.

The above resolutions were unanimously supported by the Presidium.