ECJ: Lex CEU breaches EU law

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that Hungary’s law on higher education, dubbed “lex CEU” breaches EU law.

Hungary’s parliament amended the country’s law on higher education in 2017, obliging foreign universities that issue their own degrees in Hungary to carry out educational activities in their home countries, while also making their operations dependent on a bilateral agreement between the Hungarian government and the country in which the universities are based, Hungary Today reminds. Later that year, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Hungary, saying the new regulations violated EU laws.

According to the ECJ, the regulations unnecessarily curbed the institutes’ freedom of establishment and the free movement of services.

We find double standards unacceptable, every university in Hungary must equally observe the laws. There is no scope for creating a law that would give the Soros university an advantage over Hungarian universities, Justice Minister Judit Varga told the Hungarian news agency MTI.

She added that Hungary will duly implement the judgment of the ECJ in accordance with the best interests of the Hungarian people.

She highlighted that the Hungarian legislation ensures that the students of a given institution receive a qualification that is in line with the degree they set out to acquire. The relevant Hungarian law affects dozens of foreign higher education institutions operating in Hungary, but for most of them complying with the law was not a problem, she added.

“At the end of the day, the appropriate functioning of higher education institutions is the pledge of trust in a country’s education system and of the reputation of its higher education, while the degree issued by it is an embodiment thereof. We don’t need PO box universities,” the minister stressed.

Source: MTI, Kormany.hu

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