Research institute run by Hungary’s judge in Strasbourg wound up

December 6, 2017

Then-Constitutional Court chief justice Péter Paczolay addressing the Parliament in 2011 | Photo: index.hu/Szabolcs Barakonyi

A research institute run by former Constitutional Court chief justice Péter Paczolay, who served as Hungary’s ambassador to Rome, was been wound-up. Paczolay was recently nominated by the Hungarian government to sit on the European Court of Human Rights instead of a call for applications being issued.

Before taking up his post at the European Court of Human Rights, Paczolay was put in charge of the freshly-created research institute at the National University for Public Service (the government’s favorite university). 24.hu reports that it appears the institute was given HUF 80 million (USD 300,000) in EU funds to operate a program from the beginning of 2017 through the end of 2018 for the sole purpose of giving Paczolay a job.

According to the online daily, the research institute formulated some pretty loose research goals, namely researching the challenges confronting Italy over the past 25 years. The institute was shut down in September, shortly after Paczolay received his appointment to the European Court of Human Rights, and has been out of commission since — a detail the university neglected to mention to 24.hu, which only found out about the closure from a member of the institute.

According to 24.hu, another university researcher only learned the institute was closed after reading about it online. 160 Óra writes the university decided to shut down the institute instead of finding a new director to replace Paczolay.

24.hu reports that as of the time of its closure, the institute had incurred expenses of around HUF 7.5 million (USD 30,000). No information is available concerning the fate of the remaining HUF 72.5 million (USD 270,000) in EU funds it received.