European Court Holds Hungarian Education Law Violative of the EU Rules

In the case of the Commission v. Hungary (Higher Education), the court held that Hungarian Education laws are violative of several European Union provisions and rules. The policy was held to be arbitrary and discriminatory. 

Background 

In 2017 Viktor Orban, Prime Minister of Hungary passed a law which amended major stances on the higher education. The objective was projected by the government to be to protect the quality of the education and to reform the licensing regime in place which is specifically applicable to foreign higher education institutions.

The law laid down several new requirements that the institutions have to comply with in order to continue operations. This challenged the dual status of the Central European University. This university granted certain US Diplomas in Hungary but had to shift its perorations to Vienna as a result of the law that was passed. Many construed this as an attack on ideological differences. 

Analysis 

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Hungary primarily questioned the court’s jurisdiction to take up the present issues extensively. The court observed that though there are several other bodies which can give the present matter, none of those bodies or their existence precludes the jurisdiction of the court. The main issue is the General Agreement on Trade in Services which falls within the World Trade Organization.

The contention also included the violations of provisions of Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union relating to the academic freedom, freedom of found higher education institutions and the freedom to conduct business.

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The Court, therefore, concluded that in so far as that requirement applies to higher education institutions established in a third country member of the WTO, it infringed that provision.

Court’s Decision 

Hungarian law is violative of the European Union rules and thus should change and amend the same in line of the laws of the EU.

Click here to see full Judgment.


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