Statement of Solidarity with CEU

The academic community at the Centre for EU-Russia Studies and Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies, University of Tartu is writing to express solidarity with Central European University and with concern at the proposed legislative changes to CEU’s status in Hungary. These changes would endanger the academic freedom vital for CEU’s continued operation in Budapest and would strike a blow against the academic freedom that enables all universities, including those in Hungary, to flourish.

In twenty-five years, Central European University has established itself as an international university with a global reputation for teaching and research in the social sciences and humanities. CEU has made an immense contribution to intellectual life throughout Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). As the region’s states have made the successful transition to liberal democracy, many who have gone on to lead in politics, civil society and academia have been empowered through their education at CEU.

The academic community at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies cherishes the strong academic links that it has developed with CEU. Many University of Tartu graduates in political science have undertaken their postgraduate studies at CEU. Forged through the many conference presentations, invited seminars and lectures delivered at each other’s institution, academic cooperation between faculty at UT and CEU continues to prosper.

Since 2016, CEU has hosted the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Summer School in Methods and Techniques. CEU is thus a crucial facilitator in the scholarly development and training of many early-career political and social scientists across Europe and beyond.

CEU is a valued member of the international academic community. The Hungarian government’s proposed legislation to alter its statute of operation would compromise its academic freedom and set a dangerous precedent for academic life in other countries.

The academic community at the Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies respectfully urge the Hungarian government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation might do to Hungary’s well-founded international academic reputation.