From Vilnius University Faculty of Philosophy

Dear Minister Balog,

As concerned citizens of Lithuania and European Union, we, the undersigned members of the academic community of the Faculty of Philosophy at Vilnius University, are writing to express our solidarity with the Central European University (CEU) and express our concern at proposed legislative changes to CEU’s status in Hungary. These changes would endanger the academic freedom vital for CEU’s continued operation in Budapest and would strike a blow against the academic freedom that enables all universities, not only those operating in Hungary, to flourish.

The CEU is a valued member of the international academic community and an important center of excellence that forms a particularly significant part of the Central and Eastern European landscape of higher education in humanities and social sciences. Not only CEU’s current Hungarian and foreign lecturers, researchers and students are active members of the national and international professional scene, but also many of the presently active Lithuanian academics and institutions in the social sciences and humanities have studied or cooperated with or otherwise benefited from the activities of the CEU in the recent past and continue to do so.

Restricting the operating conditions of the institution or its possible closing would be a loss not only for lecturers, researchers and students of CEU, but for all of us, the professional scientific community in the region. The government’s proposed legislation to alter its statute of operation in Hungary would compromise its academic freedom and set a dangerous precedent for academic life in other countries.

We respectfully urge the Hungarian government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation might do to Hungary’s well-founded international academic reputation, to its relationships with its European and other international partners.

Yours sincerely,

Arūnas Poviliūnas, Professor, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy

Marius Povilas Šaulauskas, Professor, Head of Dept. of Logic and History of Philosophy

Aleksandras Dobryninas, Professor

Skirmantas Jankauskas, Professor

Algimantas Čepas, Associate professor

Jonas Dagys, Associate professor

Mintautas Gutauskas, Associate professor

Kęstas Kirtiklis, Associate professor

Arūnas Mickevičius, Associate professor

Nerijus Milerius, Associate professor

Nijolė Radavičienė, Associate professor

Kristupas Sabolius, Associate professor

Rūta Žiliukaitė, Associate professor

Renata Bikauskaitė, Lecturer

Jonas Čiurlionis, Lecturer

Vilius Dranseika, Lecturer

Laimutė Jakavonytė, Lecturer

Andrius Navickas, Lecturer

Milda Baltrimienė, Doctoral student

Justas Bujokas, Doctoral student

Simas Čelutka, Doctoral student

Andrius Dovydėnas, Doctoral student

Brigita Gelžinytė, Doctoral student

Mindaugas Gilaitis, Doctoral student

Agnė Girkontaitė, Doctoral student

Aušra Kaziliūnaitė, Doctoral student

Aistė Noreikaitė, Doctoral student

Živilė Pabijutaitė, Doctoral student

Virgilijus Petuška, Doctoral student

Milda Pivoriūtė, Doctoral student

Paulius Rimkevičius, Doctoral student

Mindaugas Šulskus, Doctoral student


CC: Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary; Office of the Prime Minister; Central European University