The ALDE Group in the European Parliament strongly condemns the latest measures undertaken by the Hungarian government, including the legislative amendments that could force the Central European University (CEU) out of the country, the national consultation against alleged EU policies and the law on foreign-funded NGOs. The three proposals constitute yet another attempt by the Hungarian government to silence all critical voices and strengthen its grip on power. ALDE urges both the Commission and Member States Governments to take action.
Guy Verhofstadt, ALDE Group leader, said: “ We stand with all the Hungarian citizens that marched this weekend in Budapest to oppose their Government's illiberal crackdown on the Central European University”.
“After weakening the Constitutional Court, limiting freedom of the media and harassing civil society, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban is now attacking the centrepiece of academic excellence in Hungary: the CEU. Orban is a threat to liberal democracy. We must take action”.
Sophie in ‘t Veld, ALDE Group first vice-president, said: “ In the last few days Orbán has shown once again the little respect he has for the EU, its principles and its values. His ‘Let’s stop Brussels’ questionnaire, the new law on NGOs and the amendments against the CEU University are a new attempt to silence all critical voices and limit academic freedom. We firmly condemn his latest measures”.
“It is high time the Commission and the Council speak out and take a stand. Turning a blind eye is not acceptable any longer. The EU is rapidly losing credibility as a community of values. The EPP must finally take their distance from Orbán and end their tacit support to his destruction of democracy and the rule of law in Hungary. A robust democracy needs free universities, free media and free NGOs ”.
Note to editors
Members of the ALDE Group have today submitted a written parliamentary question asking the European Commission to undertake the necessary measures to ensure that academic freedom, quality education and a pluralist society are safeguarded, as enshrined in the legal texts of the European Union. Read the parliamentary question here.