On 2 July 2019 the Hungarian Parliament has passed a bill which will strip the Hungarian Academy of Sciences of its research institutes and thereby will transfer the academy’s research capacities to the Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH) under the supervision of the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology. The decision was made despite stark resistance from within the Hungarian science system as well as from European science organisations, including ALLEA, and is widely considered to be another decision by the Hungarian government to infringe on the freedom of science and research.
ALLEA President Antonio Loprieno said:
“We are worried by the Hungarian government’s attack on academic freedom, which threatens the autonomy of science and thus puts innovation at risk. The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has engaged in good faith and constructively with the government, which instead has chosen to disregard months of dialogue and efforts. As the federation of European academies, ALLEA will back our member academy and all Hungarian scientists and work with them and other international partners to defend science from populist pressures.”
The bill, which still awaits ratification by the country’s President, stipulates that not only the research institutes are handed over to ELKH, but also that the academy makes available their premises and equipment without compensation.
The Hungarian Academy of Sciences has made it clear that this bill is in opposition to basic European funding principles and poses a serious danger to the academic freedom of the institution as well as to the researchers working within this new network.
ALLEA and the academies within the federation deeply oppose such infringements and reject the claim of the Hungarian government that the ELKH will produce more innovative science.
Read previous ALLEA statements on this matter here: