EU Council excludes 21 Hungarian universities from Horizon Europe and Erasmus funding over Hungarian rule of law breaches

12/01/2023
[Translate to Englisch:] Ungarn Parlament

More than 30 higher education and cultural institutions in Hungary, including 21 universities, have been excluded from Horizon Europe and Erasmus funding retroactively to 15/12/2022 due to ongoing concerns about Hungarian rule of law violations. Hungary has so far received just over 60 million euros under Horizon Europe alone to fund 199 projects.

Affected are institutions that are operated as "public trust foundations" or maintained by such foundations that are close to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his party Fidesz:

  • Budapest University of Economics
  • University of Dunaújváros
  • University of Debrecen
  • Corvinus University of Budapest
  • Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences
  • Hungarian University of Dance
  • University of Veterinary Science
  • Moholy-Nagy University of Arts
  • Semmelweis University
  • János Neumann University
  • University of Nyíregyháza
  • Pannon University
  • Óbuda University
  • University of Sopron
  • István Széchenyi University
  • University of Szeged
  • University of Theatre and Film Arts
  • Hungarian University of Physical Education and Sports Sciences
  • Tokaj-Hegyalja University
  • University of Miskolc
  • University of Pécs

The Conditionality Regulation, introduced in 2021, stipulates that the rule of law is one of the EU's core values and is key to sound financial management of the EU budget and the use of EU funds.
As Hungary has so far failed to remedy violations of the rule of law, including concerns about public procurement and corruption, the Council of the EU decided in mid-December not only to freeze 55% of the €6.3 billion Cohesion Fund, a reduction from the €7.5 billion initially proposed.  It also banned Hungary's public foundations from accessing Erasmus+ or Horizon Europe funds, at the suggestion of the European Commission.
In this context, the Council also approved Hungary's spending plan for the stimulus fund, but withheld the €5.8 billion in grants until the government implements reforms to improve the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

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