The European Court of Justice (ECJ) on Tuesday ruled that Hungarian legal changes that forced the relocation of George Soros’ Central European University out of that country infringe on EU laws.
“The conditions introduced by Hungary was to enable foreign higher education institutions to carry out their activities in its territory are incompatible with EU law,’’ the European Union’s highest court held, according to a press release.
One of the new rules introduced in 2017 stipulated that higher education institutions from outside the EU needs a bilateral treaty between their country of origin and Hungary, and must also teach in their country of origin.
This infringed on World Trade Organisation rules on fair market access embedded in EU laws, the ECJ held, as well as fundamental EU rights on academic freedom and the freedom to do business.
The Central European University, founded by U.S-Hungarian billionaire George Soros, was the only university from abroad that did not meet these requirements.
The U.S-accredited university moved largely to Vienna in 2019 in the light of legal changes introduced by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
The European Commission believed EU law had been violated by the changes in Hungary’s rules and started legal action against Budapest.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Obike Ukoh