These restrictions do not apply to already approved projects and supported mobilities.
The European Commission has decided cut off 21 Hungarian universities from new funding from its Horizon Europe R&D programme and its academic mobility programme Erasmus+. The decision affects universities operated as ‘public interest trusts’, whose governing bodies contain members closely linked to Hungary’s right-wing prime minister Viktor Orbán and his political party Fidesz.
This measure based on the EU rule of law conditionality mechanism, which the European Commission launched at the end of April last year. The conditionality regulation, introduced in 2021, holds that the rule of law is one of the founding values of the EU and is key to the sound financial management of the EU budget - and the effective use of its funding. According to the European Commission, Hungary has not adopted the desired reforms, which is why the Commission decided to freeze funds from European funds flowing to Hungary.
The integration of educational and cultural institutions under public trust foundations under the direct influence of the state is seen as one of the steps taken by Viktor Orbán's government to gain control over information and education in the country and limit the functioning of the principles of the rule of law.
These restrictions do not apply to already approved projects and supported mobilities, as the suspension of contractual cooperation with Hungarian entities is only valid for contracts concluded after 15 December 2022. The decision is now temporary and its cancellation or adjustment will depend on Hungary's progress in solving the problems in the area of the rule of law. More information can be found on the ScienceBusiness website.