Public positions


Dear friends,

As many of you are already aware, a bill has been introduced in the Hungarian National Assembly, the provisions of which would effectively render impossible the functioning of the Central European University as an institution of higher education in Budapest. The bill is advanced in a wider political context, in which the current Prime-Minister, Viktor Orban, and his governmental coalition have taken a number of steps directed towards weakening the rule of law and curtailing civil liberties in Hungary.

CEU is one of the leading universities in Continental Europe and many scholars regard it as the best university in Eastern Europe. Several of its programs, e.g. politics & international studies, philosophy or sociology, are constantly ranked in the top 100 of their respective fields at a global level, according to QS World University Rankings. Furthermore, a wide majority of CEU’s students, who are drawn from more than 100 countries, receive significant financial aid from the university in support of their studies. Consequently, the shutdown of CEU’s operations would represent an encroachment both against academic excellence in the field of humanities and social sciences and against educational opportunities for students in Hungary and around the world.

Symbolically, CEU is a beacon of multiculturalism, freedom and diversity. Pragmatically, CEU is the meeting point of scholars of various institutional affiliations and ideologies, which aims at maintaining Eastern Europe on the map of contemporary research in various fields. If CEU were to be closed, the landscape of European research would be much emptier. If authoritarianism is to fail, we must first prevent the fall of those higher education institutions which try to instil liberal values in their students, a mission assumed by CEU and thoroughly accomplished since its establishment.

The Bucharest Center for Political Theory stands with the Central European University in their efforts to maintain the continued functioning of this prestigious institution of higher education in Budapest. We stand together with our colleagues from CEU and from other universities, research centers and NGOs around the world in defence of academic freedom, educational opportunities and an open society and we join them in their fight against the infringement of these values by increasingly authoritarian governments.

If you want to express your support for CEU you can go to or sign a petition at For more information on CEU’s official response to the proposed bill go to