Dear Minister Balog,
On behalf of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy (ESAP), I am writing to express our concern at the proposed legislative changes to CEU’s status in Hungary. As I understand the matter, these changes would endanger the academic freedom vital for CEU’s continued operation in Budapest.
During the last few decades the CEU has played a leading role in promoting the humanities and the social sciences in general, and philosophy in particular, in Central and Eastern Europe. Several of CEU’s departments are rated among the top 50 in the world, some of these (for example, philosophy) rank above all other Central or Eastern European Departments. Several members of CEU’s faculty, in a diverse range of fields that include medieval studies, network science and cognitive science, have won the most prestigious awards in their disciplines.
The CEU is a lighthouse of academic excellence and a role model for all universities in the region and across Europe. The CEU is a valued member of the international academic community and its presence in Hungary has added to the reputation of Hungarian academic life on the international stage. The government’s proposed legislation to alter the CEU’s 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 government to withdraw the proposed legislation and enter consultation with CEU, bearing in mind the damage such legislation might do to Hungary’s well-established international academic reputation, to its relationships with its European partners and with the United States.
Stephan Hartmann (MCMP/LMU Munich)
President of the European Society for Analytic Philosophy (ESAP)