Andrew Cuomo, the governor of the State of New York, said on Wednesday he is ready for talks with the Hungarian government on the Central European University (CEU).
“An agreement to keep CEU in Budapest as a free institution is in everyone’s best interests, and I stand ready to enter into discussions with the Hungarian Government to continue the New York State-Government of Hungary relationship and ensure that the institution remains a treasured resource for students around the world,” the governor said in a statement. Parliament last month approved amendments to the higher education
act that require foreign colleges and universities in Hungary to operate on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement and to have a campus in the country in which they are based. The CEU, which is chartered by the State of New York but has just one campus, in Budapest, earlier said the amendments would make its continued operation in Budapest “impossible”.
“The Government of Hungary hasstated publicly that it can only discuss the future of CEU in Hungary with relevant US authorities, which in this case
is the State of New York. The Governor welcomes the opportunity to resolve this matter and to initiate discussions with the Hungarian government without delay,” Cuomo’s statement said. The amendments to the higher education act stipulate that in instances in which the central government of
a federal state is not authorized to recognize the binding effect of an international agreement, such an agreement will be made on the basis of a preliminary agreement with said government.
In a statement issued on Tuesday the US State Department said that it had “no authority or intention to enter into negotiations on the operation of Central European University or other universities in Hungary”, and urged Hungary to suspend implementation of its amended higher education law.