Dear Manfred Weber,
Like many people throughout Europe and beyond, we, as Faculty members of the Université libre de Bruxelles, specialists of EU politics, and European citizens, have been utterly shocked by the political pressures from Viktor Orban’s government which may result in the Central European University (CEU) shutting down its campus in Budapest.
Not only is this extremely worrying for our CEU’s colleagues with whom we work and who have been building their personal lives and careers in the country for a long time. This is also a very alarming sign that democracy, civil liberties and intellectual freedom are threatened in Hungary, a Member State of the European Union.
More importantly, we would like to strongly express that the support that Viktor Orbán is still enjoying from the European People’s Party is a disgrace for Europe’s Christian Democrats and Conservatives, and the European Parliament as a whole. The total absence of action makes you the accomplice of a regime which is contradicting the democratic values underpinning the European Union and leading Hungary on a path towards authoritarianism.
We therefore urge you to take a clear stance in favour of democracy by excluding the Fidesz from the EPP and by exerting the political influence at your disposal to support the Central European University in its struggle to pursue its teaching and research activities in Budapest.
Anne Weyembergh, Professor of Law & European Studies, President of the Institute for European Studies, Université libre de Bruxelles.
Ramona Coman, Professor of Political science & European Studies, Director of the Institute for European Studies, Université libre de Bruxelles.
Amandine Crespy, Professor of Political science & European Studies, Université libre de Bruxelles.