In a statement released Wednesday by Governor of New York Andrew M. Cuomo, the state’s top official says he is ready to engage in talks with the Hungarian government aimed at enabling Central European University to continue operating in Hungary.
According to the statement,
the Government of Hungary has recently adopted legislation that would force the closure of CEU. This legislation directly contradicts the 2004 Joint Declaration with the State of New York, which supported CEU’s goal of achieving Hungarian accreditation while maintaining its status as an accredited American institution.
The Government of Hungary has stated publicly that it can only discuss the future of CEU in Hungary with relevant US authorities, which in this case is the State of New York. The Governor welcomes the opportunity to resolve this matter and to initiate discussions with the Hungarian government without delay.”
Governor Cuomo said: “An agreement to keep CEU in Budapest as a free institution is in everyone’s best interests, and I stand ready to enter into discussions with the Hungarian government to continue the New York State-government of Hungary relationship and ensure that the institution remains a treasured resource for students around the world.”
As indicated in the statement, the State of New York might not be so happy about Lex CEU, as the law contradicts an agreement between Hungary and the State of New York signed back in 2004.
Despite the willingness of the State of New York to engage in talks with the government of Hungary, the government is keen on having a bilateral agreement with the US federal government — something the US government says does not fall under its jurisdiction.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of State released a statement calling on the Hungarian government to engage in talks directly with CEU. Hungary’s foreign ministry responded with a statement of its own, accusing the U.S. government of not being “forthcoming” in the process to help CEU remain in Hungary.