The director and the researchers of the CEFRES express their support to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences
The director and the researchers of the French Centre of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences (CEFRES) are deeply worried about the dismantlement threatening the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the biggest academic institution of the country. They express their full support to the president of the Academy, Mr. Laszlo Lovasz, and to the whole academic community of Hungary, concerned with the respect of academic freedom and intellectual independence.
One of the CEFRES’ main missions is to promote research in Humanities and Social Sciences and to build long-term cooperation with universities and academic institutions in the four Visegrad’s countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland). The CEFRES’ team is alarmed at the current discourse stigmatizing partners whose intellectual relevance and academic excellence cannot be questioned and at the succession of reforms aiming at weakening them. They express their full support to their colleagues of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, to the Central European University and to all the academic institutions which are currently threatened.
Prague, the 10th of March 2019
Le directeur et les chercheurs du CEFRES soutiennent l’Académie hongroise des sciences
Le directeur et les chercheurs du Centre français de recherche en sciences sociales (CEFRES) s’émeuvent des menaces de démembrement qui pèsent sur l’Académie hongroise des sciences, première institution scientifique du pays. Ils affirment leur plein soutien au Président de l’Académie, M. Laszlo Lovasz ainsi qu’à l’ensemble de la communauté académique hongroise soucieuse du respect des libertés académiques et de l’indépendance intellectuelle.
L’une des missions principales du CEFRES est de promouvoir la recherche en sciences sociales et humaines et de coopérer durablement avec les institutions académiques et universitaires dans les quatre pays de Visegrad (République tchèque, Slovaquie, Hongrie, Pologne). L’équipe du CEFRES s’alarme de la succession de discours qui stigmatisent et de réformes qui affaiblissent des partenaires dont la crédibilité intellectuelle et l’excellence scientifique ne peuvent être mises en cause. Son soutien va aux collègues de l’Académie hongroise des sciences mais aussi de la Central European University et de toutes les institutions universitaires qui sont aujourd’hui mises en cause.
Prague, le 10 mars 2019
The original of the letter can be downloaded from here or the website of Cefres.
Pavel Janácek, a Cseh Tudományos Akadémia Cseh Irodalmi Intézetének igazgatója nagyra értékeli az intézeteink közötti együttműködést, külön kiemelve a közép-európai kulturális hagyományok közös ápolását és a szakmai kapcsolatot Berkes Tamás tudományos tanácsadóval, a Közép- és kelet-európai Osztály vezetőjével. Szolidaritásának hangot adva reményét fejezi ki a kialakult helyzet megoldására és a jól működő, alapkutatást lehetővé tevő, hosszú távú tervezést biztosító intézményi struktúra működtetésének lehetőségére.
The Romanian Academy of Sciences, alongside with the other European Academies, asserts its solidarity with Hungarian Academy of Sciences, being confident that the mision of the Academies is to be the highly responsible voice of the states the represent.
The statement of the European University Association, 21 February 2019
ALLEA (ALL European Academies), the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities, published a statement on 15 February calling on the Hungarian government to cease its infringements on the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy, a long-standing member of ALLEA.
ALLEA’s statement comes after the government of Viktor Orbán proposed a re-organisation of the Academy’s structure, which would gravely endanger the future funding of all scientific disciplines and particularly threaten research in the humanities.
EUA supports ALLEA, its partner organisation, in calling on the Hungarian government to uphold and assure the autonomy of academic institutions, as guaranteed in Article X of the Fundamental Law of Hungary, and enable the scientific community to play its role in contributing to the country’s social and economic well-being. EUA also joins ALLEA in expressing its solidarity with and support for the researchers and staff affiliated with the Hungarian Academy.
The Hungarian government’s move against its country’s Academy of Sciences and Humanities raises renewed concerns regarding the negative trajectory of university autonomy and academic freedom in Hungary. This is demonstrated particularly in the deliberate targeting by Prime Minister Orbán’s government of the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, which in December 2018 announced that it would move a large part of its activities to Vienna for the 2019-2020 academic year, leading to the first forced closure of a major university in an EU country. Other infringements on academic freedom and institutional autonomy have included a government ban on gender studies programmes, an unusually high tax on programmes for refugees and asylum seekers and the intimidation of academics in the Hungarian media.
EUA would like to emphasise once again that these developments, which are unprecedented in the European Union, are highly damaging to the country’s reputation and have worrying implications for research and higher education, both in Hungary and in Europe as a whole. EUA will continue to monitor the situation and support its members and partners.
The British Academy supports the statement by the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) calling for the protection of the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
The statement (below) follows the latest in a continuing series of infringements by the Hungarian government on the academic freedom of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
In supporting ALLEA’s statement the Academy reiterates the previous concerns it has raised over academic freedom in Hungary. In July 2018, the foreign secretaries of the British Academy and the Royal Society sent an open letter to the Hungarian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Mr László Palkovics, following the proposal of new laws that – the Academies believed – would compromise the scientific freedom and independence of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
EuroScience expresses once again its strong support to you and to the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in the difficult decisions you are currently facing, and we are open to examining further actions that you may feel appropriate in support of your effort.
As Preses (President) of The Norwegien Academy of Science and Letter and as the leader of the Academy’s Committee on Human Rights, we are writing on behalf of our members to express solidarity with the Hungarian Academy of Siences.
As President of the Science Academy – Bilim Akademisi, Turkey, I would like to express sympathies and support, along the ALLEA statements, for the Hungarian Academy of Sciences regarding the governmental intervention and pressure that MTA is faced with. Our Science Academy was founded as a non-governmental organization after the government decided to appoint members to the official Turkish Academy of Sciences, TÜBA, at which the majority of TÜBA members resigned. We understand your situation in these times of difficulty not only for science and the pursuit of truth but also, and connectedly, for freedom of expression and democracy.
With my best regards,
M. Ali Alpar, Professor of Astrophysics,
President, The Science Academy-Bilim Akademisi, Turkey
We, the undersigned staff and fellows of the Imre Kertész Kolleg in Jena, share with you and your colleagues grave concern over the recent government attacks on the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and academic freedom in Hungary in general.