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Hungary to European Commission: Nothing the matter with Lex CEU

The Hungarian government has prepared its response to the European Commission’s Formal Letter of Notice regarding Lex CEU, reports Hungarian news site hvg.hu. The government’s position is that the law is fine and will not be changed.

At the end of April, the European Commission announced it had taken the first step toward initiating an infringement proceeding against Hungary on grounds that – according to the Commission’s assessment – Lex CEU

“…is not compatible with the fundamental internal market freedoms, notably the freedom to provide services and the freedom of establishment but also with the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business as provided by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, as well as with the Union’s legal obligations under international trade law.”

The European Commission gave Hungary one month to respond to the Letter of Formal Notice, a deadline which expires tomorrow.

Without Lex CEU, the government has no way to ensure that fake universities do not operate in Hungary, the government reasons in its response letter, adding that the requirement that Central European University have a campus in the United States and the provision on institutional naming do not infringe on freedom of education or any other EU fundamental right.

It is now up to the European Commission to assess the Hungarian government’s response. If the Commission rejects the response, it will send another letter to the government, calling for Lex CEU to be modified to conform with EU law. This process would take two months. If the government does not make the changes, the issue will be brought before the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Benjamin Novak :