On 7 December 2017 the European Commission (EC) decided to refer Hungary to the Court of Justice of the European Union (EU). This was the last of a series of rebuts which started on the 4 of April 2017 between Hungary and the EC, when the Hungarian Parliament adopted a new act amending the previous higher education law.
According to the new amended law, non-Hungarian universities operating in Hungary must also have a base and run programmes in their home countries. ACA already covered such developments in its April edition
According to the EC, the new law is not compatible with the freedom of higher education institutions (HEIs) to provide services and have premises anywhere in the EU. Moreover, this law collides with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the GATS (General Agreement on Trade in Services), which are meant to protect, among others, the right of academic freedom, the right to education and the freedom to conduct a business in other EU countries.
To the EC, this law disproportionately restricts EU and non-EU universities
in their operations and hence should be brought back in line with the EU law. It is now up to the Court of Justice of the European Union to unravel the knot.