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Brussels, 16th January 2019 – On 1 December 2018, after a long running campaign of harassment, the Hungarian government forced the Central European University to leave Hungary. Jean Monnet Chairs Professor Alberto Alemanno, Professor R. Daniel Kelemen and Professor Laurent Pech joined the protest with an Open Letter signed by an additional 58 Jean Monnet Chairs.
The professors express collective profound disappointment and outrage about the EU’s failure to respond more robustly to recent developments in Hungary, and urge to take action and stand up for the democratic values on which the European Union is based.
The letter has now been handed to Presidents Juncker, Tusk and Tajani, all three affiliated to the European People’s Party, of which Orban’s Fidesz party is a member. Among the requests, Jean Monnet Chairs demand that EPP leaders take immediate action to uphold the fundamental principles on which both the EPP and the EU itself are based and make it clear that there is no room in the EPP for parties like Fidesz that violate those principles.
The CEU case not only sets a dangerous precedent for academic freedom, but it casts doubt on the opportunity of every EU resident to think, move and act within this unprecedented space of freedom, rule of law, and democracy that is the European Union.