EU top court finds Hungary education law in violation of EU rules
© WikiMedia (Cédric Puisney)
EU top court finds Hungary education law in violation of EU rules

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) found Tuesday that Hungary’s education law violated EU rules when it forced out an American university founded by George Soros.

The 2017 law passed by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán challenged the dual status of Central European University, which originally granted US diplomas in Hungary. Soros, an American with a Hungarian background, founded Central European University but has since moved operations to Vienna as a result of the Hungarian law. The 2017 legislation promoted by Orbán was seen as an ideological attack on a hub of liberal thought in contrast with the prime minister’s policies.

The ECJ found Tuesday that the Hungarian law was “incompatible both with the commitments undertaken by Hungary with the framework of the GATS and with the freedom … to found higher education institutions.” In addition, the court found that the cited interest for public order was unfounded and Hungary failed to show that “there was a genuine and sufficiently serious threat affecting a fundamental interest of Hungarian society.” The prime minister’s policy targeting Soros’ university was viewed as “arbitrary discrimination because of the decisive nature of the political will of the Hungarian authorities.”

Hungary must now change its education laws to align with the agreed-upon EU laws.