After a sustained campaign against the influence of left-wing billionaire George Soros by the Hungarian government, Soros’s Central European University has announced its plans to move from Budapest to Vienna.
The Central European University (CEU) has come under fire from the Hungarian government which had previously claimed it was unfair that the institution was allowed to give out both Hungarian and U.S. diplomas while not operating a campus in the USA.
Now, the university has announced that it has plans to leave Budapest and move to neighbouring Austria where a new campus will be set up, Swedish radio broadcaster Sveriges Radio reports.
Éva Fodor, Deputy Rector at CEU said that the university had already signed an agreement with a landlord in Vienna but some were still hopeful the university would not have to move as the administration had set up a branch in New York state, as requested by the Hungarian government.
Hungary has yet to approve the move by the CEU according to Fodor who said: “If the government still has not signed this agreement in mid-June, then we will start planning to move the entire university to Vienna.”
“It’s hard to recruit new staff when we can not even tell where their workplace will be,” Fodor added.
At a press conference earlier this week, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said the government had yet to make a final decision on the fate of the university.
The planned move comes just after Mr. Orbán and his Fidesz party won a massive two-thirds majority in the Hungarian parliament allowing them to put forward constitutional changes.
A major pillar of the Fidesz election campaign was directed at the influence of foreign NGOs, many of which are part of the network of Soros and his Open Society Foundations.
Prime Minister Orbán has denounced Soros’s influence on the migration policies of the European Union claiming that the “Soros Plan” would see millions of migrants enter Europe.
“The Soros network has an extensive sphere of influence within the European Parliament and other EU bodies,” Mr. Orbán said last October and added: “Its aim is to build a Europe of mixed population and to condemn the Hungarian government for opposing their view on migration.”