EC sends reasoned opinion on law on NGOs financed from abroad and higher education law
The European Commission has taken an infringement procedure launched against Hungary further and sent a reasoned opinion concerning the law affecting NGOs financed from abroad.
The EC said a reasoned opinion has been sent, which represents the second phase of the infringement procedure launched in July.
Hungary has one month to amend the law and bring it into line with European regulations.
Failing to do that, the EC could turn to the European Court of Justice.
The European Commission also instructed on Wednesday Hungary to provide additional clarification regarding amendments to its higher education law in the framework of an infringement procedure.
The EC launched the infringement procedure against Hungary over the amendments which require foreign colleges and universities in Hungary to operate under intergovernmental agreements and to have a campus in the country in which they are based, in April, shortly after parliament passed them.
Critics of the law said it put the operations of Budapest’s Central European University (CEU) under threat.
The commission stepped up the procedure by sending the country a “reasoned opinion” on the matter in July.
Although Hungary replied to the reasoned opinion, the EC asked for further clarification on its concerns about the non-compatibility of the legislation with the EU’s obligations under international trade law.
The EC added that it believes the legislation runs counter to the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business, as set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.
Hungary has two weeks to provide the additional details or the EC may refer the case to the Court of Justice of the EU,
the EC said in a statement.
The CEU announced on Tuesday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding with New York’s Bard College to provide educational activities in New York State.
“We hope that this MoU, which does not preclude future agreements with other New York-based institutions, helps to provide the basis for a speedy conclusion to this affair. We await the Hungarian government’s signature of the agreement and parliament’s ratification in order to enable CEU to continue operating in Budapest, which has always been our goal,” CEU said in a statement.