Department of Philosophy
Central European University
Zürich, 22. April 2017
Threat to the Central European University
we are writing to express our profound solidarity with the Central European University in general and your department in particular. We are deeply troubled by the legislative changes implemented by the Hungarian government. They are bound to undermine the academic freedom in Hungary by endangering CEU's continued operation in Hungary at CEU. It is one of the leading philosophy departments on the European Continent for research and study in both theoretical and practical philosophy.
We should also like to point out that the University of Zurich has a history of defending academic freedom even in times of extreme pressure. Furthermore, Switzerland has an established tradition of solidarity with the Hungarian people, first and foremost after the uprising of 1956. We feel that it is important to raise our voice before matters come even close to such a melancholy state of affairs.
Especially in times like these, Hungary needs institutions like CEU, to pursue teaching and research at the highest levels, to offer opportunities for students from Eastern Europe, and to promote critical and unbiased thought about matters of common concern. The changes of its legal status will make it impossible for the CEU to continue its invaluable activities in Hungary. It will also undermine the international reputation of the Hungarian academic community.
The Institute of Philosophy of the University of Zurich pledges its unflagging support for the CEU. It calls upon the Hungarian authorities to preserve the Central European University as an academic beacon of Hungary. We therefore ask the Hungarian government to repeal or suspend the legislation threatening it.
On behalf of the Institute of Philosophy of the University of Zurich,
Professor of Philosophy and Head of Institute