Scholarship cut-off for 21 Hungarian universities


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21 Hungarian universities will no longer receive funding from programmes such as Horizon Europe and Erasmus+ for the time being. European leaders have suspended all kinds of grants until the Orban government stops violating the rule of law and academic freedom. 


According to policy officer Joep Bresser of Neth-ER, the Dutch education and research outpost in Brussels, the European Commission and member states want to protect the EU budget from violations of the rule of law. Bresser says the country risks losing a combined €6.3 billion in European subsidies until 2027


"The universities in question have in recent years been controlled by public foundations, with sitting politicians from President Viktor Orbán‘s conservative Fidesz party on the supervisory board. The EU has long expressed concerns about this conflict of interest and Orbán’s interference in other corners of society, such as the press."  


But there is also a real danger that with these sanctions, the EU will hit the last critical academics in the country. "In particular, students and researchers risk becoming victims," says Bresser. "The very people you want to let come into contact with from other countries. The fact that there is only now consensus on the withdrawal of the funds clearly shows that it was not an easy decision." (HOP, Pvt)