US government criticizes Viktor Orban's government's attack on American University

A recent proposal by the Hungarian government threatens the operation and the independence of the Central European University hosting students and staff from 100 countries from around the world. The US Department of State issued a statement on Friday asking the Hungarian government to refrain from steps compromising the university. 20 thousand people have signed an international petition.


Several members of Orban's government have studied at this university or received grants from George Soros's foundation. (Soros founded the CEU and his endowment is behind the institution though it is an independent legal entity from the Soros Foundation.)

The petition can be signed here:

Later on Friday the Hungarian Educational Office issued a statement stating that 17 of the CEU'S programmes comply thoroughly with the Hungarian regulations and the rest of the programmes under revision by the authority currently are likely to be found in ac cordance with the regulations. 

On Friday evening 15 Nobel laureates and several other distinguished members  of the academic world  around the globe signed an open letter addressed to the Hungarian government in support of the Central European University, asking asking for the withdrawal of the new law.


H.E. Réka Szemerkényi, Ambassador of Hungary to the United States of America

Zoltán Balog, Minister of Human Capacities, Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungary

László Palkovics, Minister of State for Education, Ministry of Human Capacities, Hungary                         

Dear Ambassador Réka Szemerkényi, Dear Minister Zoltán Balog, Dear State Minister of Education László Palkovics,

We have learned with concern about proposed legislation that would make it impossible or impracticable for the Central European University to continue its operations in Budapest.                                        

We would like to express our admiration for Central European University, which is a leading university in the region, and is well integrated in the broader system of Hungarian and European higher education. We have learned a tremendous amount from, and cooperated productively with, researchers from CEU. We have been fortunate to meet many students who received postgraduate degrees at CEU, after obtaining a world-class basic education in Hungarian -- and other Central and Eastern European -- public universities. CEU’s integration in and cooperation with other academic institutions in the region is fundamental to the success of Hungary.

It would be a sad outcome for the training of students from the region, for academic research in Hungary, and for our own cooperation with Hungarian academics, if the proposed legislation came into force. We therefore ask, respectfully but in the strongest possible terms, that your government withdraw this legislation.                               


Daron Acemoglu, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Philippe Aghion, President of the European Economic Association, College de France and London School of Economics; George A. Akerlof, Nobel Laureate, Georgetown University and University of California, Berkeley (emeritus) ; Susan Athey, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, Stanford University; Tim Besley, President of the International Economic Association, London School of Economics; Raj Chetty, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, Stanford University; Angus Deaton, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University; Peter Diamond, Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Esther Duflo, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, Editor of the American Economic Review, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Matthew Gentzkow, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, Stanford University; Lars Hansen, Nobel Laureate, University of Chicago; Oliver Hart, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University; Bengt Holmström, Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate, Harvard University; Roger Myerson, Nobel Laureate, University of Chicago; Edward C. Prescott, Nobel Laureate, Arizona State University; Matthew Rabin, John Bates Clark medal recipient, Harvard University; Alvin E. Roth, Nobel Laureate, President of the American Economic Association, Stanford University; Emmanuel Saez, John Bates Clark Medal recipient, University of California, Berkeley; Thomas J. Sargent, Nobel Laureate, New York University; Robert Shiller, Nobel Laureate, Yale University; Christopher A. Sims, Nobel Laureate, Princeton University; Robert Solow, Nobel Laureate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus); A. Michael Spence, Nobel Laureate, Stanford University


Robert Anderson, University of California, Berkeley;  Cristina Arellano, University of Minnesota;  Nicholas Argyres, Washington University in St. Louis;  Abhijit Banerjee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Pranab Bardhan, University of California, Berkeley;  Michal Bauer, CERGE-EI;  Charles M. Becker, Duke University;  Youssef Benzarti, University of California, Los Angeles;  John Beshears, Harvard Business School;  Olivier Blanchard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus);  Richard Blundell, University College London;  Simon Board, University of California, Los Angeles;  Patrick Bolton, Columbia University;  Emily Breza, Harvard University;  Clair Brown, University of California, Berkeley;  Markus Brunnermeier, Princeton University;  Craig Burnside, Duke University;  Jeffrey Butler, Louisiana State University;  Antonio Cabrales, University College London;  Caterina Calsamiglia, CEMFI, Madrid;  Davide Cantoni, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich;  Wendy Carlin, University College London;  James Caron, SOAS University of London;  Vasco Carvalho, Cambridge University;  Ananya Chakravarti, Georgetown University;  Arun Chandrasekhar, Stanford University;  Victor Chernozhukov, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, Harvard University;  David Clingingsmith, Case Western Reserve University;  Henry Cohn, Microsoft Research and Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Dora Costa, University of California, Los Angeles;  Roger Craine, University of California, Berkeley;  Jacques Crémer, Toulouse School of Economics;  Dagomar Degroot, Georgetown University;  Stefano DellaVigna, UC Berkeley;  J. Bradford DeLong, University of California, Berkeley;  Wouter Dessein, Columbia University;  Rafael Dix-Carneiro, Duke University;  Matthias Doepke, Northwestern University;  Juan Dolado, European University Institute;  Laura Doval, Yale University, Cowles Foundation;  Mikhail Drugov, New Economic School;  Pascaline Dupas, Stanford University;  Steven Durlauf, University of Wisconsin;  Richard Eckaus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (emeritus);  Florian Ederer, Yale University;  Aaron S. Edlin, University of California, Berkeley;  Liran Einav, Stanford University;  Matt Elliott, California Institute of Technology and Cambridge University;  Jeffrey Ely, Northwestern University;  Ruben Enikolopov, Universtitat Pompeu Fabra;  Benjamin Enke, Harvard University;  Keith Marzilli Ericson, Boston University, Questrom School of Business;  Constanca Esteves-Sorenson, Yale University;  Christine Exley, Harvard Business School;  Erik Eyster, London School of Economics;  Armin Falk, University of Bonn;  Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, University of Pennsylvania;  Jeremy Fox, Rice University;  Eric French, University College London;  Nicola Fuchs-Schündeln, Goether Universitat Frankfurt;  Drew Fudenberg, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Xavier Gabaix, Harvard;  Andrea Galeotti, European University Institute;  Simon Galle, BI - Norwegian Business School;  Richard J. Gilbert, University of California, Berkeley;  Francesco Giovannoni, University of Bristol;  Paola Giuliano, University of California, Los Angeles;  Ben Golub, Harvard University;  Yuriy Gorodnichenko, University of California, Berkeley;  Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, University of California, Berkeley;  Sanjeev Goyal, Cambridge University;  Michael D. Grubb, Boston College;  Marina Halac, Columbia University and University of Warwick;  Ben Handel, University of California, Berkeley;  Paul Heidhues, DICE;  Igal Hendel, Northwestern University;  Benjamin E. Hermalin, University of California, Berkeley;  Holger Herz, University of Fribourg;  Alisha C. Holland, Princeton University;  Thomas J. Holmes, University of Minnesota;  Bálint Horváth, University of Bristol;  Jennifer Hunt, Rutgers University;  Alex Imas, Carnegie Mellon University;  Felicia Ionescu, Federal Reserve Board;  Matthew O. Jackson, Stanford University;  Byeongju Jeong, CERGE-EI;  Reka Juhasz, Columbia University;  Stepan Jurajda, CERGE-EI;  Marek Kapicka, CERGE-EI;  Shachar Kariv, University of California, Berkeley;  Dean Karlan, Yale University;  Jakub Kastl, Princeton University;  Patrick Kehoe, University of Minnesota;  Timothy J. Kehoe, University of Minnesota;  Stanislav Khrapov, New Economic School;  Christoph Koenig, University of Bristol;  Michael Kremer, Harvard university;  Dmitry V. Krutikov, New Economic School;  Timur Kuran, Duke University;  David Laibson, Harvard University;  Camille Landais, London School of Economics;  Erick D. Langer, Georgetown University;  Gabriel Lee, University of Regensburg;  David K. Levine, Washington University in St. Louis;  Fei Li, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill;  Shengwu Li, Harvard University, Society of Fellows;  Attila Lindner, University College London;  Jeremy Lise, University of Minnesota;  John List, University of Chicago;  Antoine Loeper, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid;  Guido Lorenzoni, Northwestern University;  George Mailath, University of Pennsylvania;  Ulrike Malmendier, University of California, Berkeley;  Marta Troya Martinez, New Economic School and Toulouse School of Economics;  Filip Matejka , CERGE-EI;  Andrea Matranga, New Economics School;  Andrea Mattozzi, European University Institute;  Vladimir Matveenko, National Research University Higher School of Economics;  David McAdams, Duke University;  Jamie McCasland, University of British Columbia;  Ellen McGrattan, University of Minnesota;  John R. McNeill, Georgetown University;  Moritz Meyer-ter-Vehn, University of California, Los Angeles;  Guy Michaels, London School of Economics;  Fabio Michelucci, CERGE-EI;  Edward Miguel, University of California, Berkeley;  Mushfiq Mobarak, Yale University;  Markus Mobius, Microsoft Research and University of Michigan;  Krisztina Molnár, Norwegian School of Economics;  John Mondragon, Northwestern University;  Enrico Moretti, University of California, Berkeley;  Stephen Morris, Princeton University;  Michèle Müller-Itten, University of Notre-Dame;  Takeshi Murooka, Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University;  Volker Nocke, Universitat Mannheim and University of California, Los Angeles;  Guillermo Noguera, University of Warwick;  Nathan Nunn, Harvard University;  Ichiro Obara, University of California, Los Angeles;  Lee E. Ohanian, University of California, Los Angeles;  Morten Olsen, University of Copenhagen;  Wojciech Olszewski, Northwestern University;  Aniko Öry, Yale School of Management;  Romans Pancs, Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México;  Rohini Pande, Harvard University;  In-Uck Park, University of Bristol;  Aureo De Paula, University College London;  Antonio Penta, University of Wisconsin-Madison;  Ricardo Perez-Truglia, University of California, Los Angeles;  Maria Petrova, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona GSE, and New Economic School;  Jörn-Steffen Pischke, London School of Economics;  Sergey V. Popov, Queen's University Belfast;  Demian Pouzo, University of California, Berkeley;  Ian Preston, University College London;  Jens Prüfer, Tilburg University;  Gautam Rao, Harvard University;  Imran Rasul, University College London;  Michael Reich, University of California, Berkeley;  Andres Rodriguez-Clare, University of California, Berkeley;  Dani Rodrik, Harvard University;  Kenneth Rogoff, Harvard University;  Nikita Roketskiy, University College London;  Gerard Roland, University of California, Berkeley;  Hector Gutierrez Rufrancos, University of Sussex;  Dominik Sachs, European University Institute;  Jozsef Sakovics, University of Edinburgh;  Larry Samuelson, Yale University;  László Sándor, Luxembourg School of Finance;  Frank Schilbach, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  Johannes Schmieder, Boston University;  Heather Schofield, University of Pennsylvania;  Gregory Schwartz, University of Bristol;  Michael Schwarz, Google;  Michel Serafinelli, University of Toronto;  Juan Carlos Suarez Serrato, Duke University;  Marciano Siniscalchi, Northwestern University;  Sergey Slobodian, CERGE-EI;  Timothy M. Smeeding, University of Wisconsin-Madison;  Lones Smith, University of Wisconsin;  Sarah Smith, University of Bristol;  Stephen Smith, University College London;  Yossi Spiegel, Tel Aviv University;  Johannes Spinnewijn, London School of Economics;  Charles Sprenger, University of California San Diego;  L. Ashley Squires, New Economic School;  David Sraer, University of California, Berkeley;  Konrad Stahl, Universitat Mannheim (emeritus);  Jakub Steiner, CERGE-EI;  Vincent Sterk, University College London;  Kjetil Storesletten, University of Oslo;  Philipp Strack, University of California, Berkeley;  Bruno Strulovici, Northwestern University;  Zsuzsanna Szemerédi, CUNEF, Spain;  Steve Tadelis, University of California, Berkeley;  Joshua Tasoff, Claremont Graduate University;  Silvana Tenreyro, London School of Economics;  Duncan Thomas, Duke University;  Russell Tóth, University of Sydney;  Edward Tower, Duke University;  Dimitri Vayanos, London School of Economics;  Laura Veldkamp, New York University;  Venky Venkateswaran, New York University;  Venky Venkateswaran, New York University;  Frederic Vermeulen, University of Leuven;  Nico Voigtlaender, University of California, Los Angeles;  Paul Wachtel, New York University;  Stephanie Wang, University of Pittsburg;  Ivan Werning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology;  E. Glen Weyl, Microsoft Research and Yale University;  Bert Willems, Tilburg University;  Barbara L. Wolfe, University of Wisconsin-Madison;  Michael Woodford, Columbia University;  Yi Xu, Duke University;  Danny Yagan, University of California, Berkeley;  Evgeny Yakovlev, New Economic School;  Huseyin Yildirim, Duke University;  Motohiro Yogo, Princeton University;  Giorgio Zanarone, CUNEF, Spain;



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