CEU has long stood as an example of aspiration for our community, an entire generation of students, intellectuals, researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs and activists.
When a new law amendment proposal was submitted to the Hungarian parliament, which poses a serious threat to the Central European University (CEU), the Milestone Institute founders showed their support to the university.
Dear Students, Faculty, Alumni, Parents and Friends,
Nothing is as frightening as when the short-term logic of political interest or a bureaucratic blunder so clearly trump the common good. In stark, plain and unambiguous form, if adopted, the proposal submitted to Parliament yesterday would make the operations of Central European University impossible in Hungary.
It resembles taking a blunt axe to a tree just when bearing its best fruit.
The merits of CEU as an institution have been clearly outlined and quantified elsewhere, hence we at the Milestone Institute would rather focus on what cannot be quantified. CEU has long stood as an example of aspiration for our community, an entire generation of students, intellectuals, researchers, teachers, entrepreneurs and activists. CEU bears testament to the fact that an educational institution can be both world class and rooted in Hungary.
Beyond the many economic, social and political contributions the university and its broader community makes to Hungarian society, from our perspective there is one of particular importance: CEU not only nurtures students from the region to become internationally competitive, but is also the main gateway back to the country for highly qualified individuals who seek to enrich Hungary with their knowledge, network and values gained abroad.
Threatening CEU is not only irrational, but it is also (far more) damaging in symbolic terms, as it alienates the community from which Hungary has the most to gain in the coming decades. The very community CEU (and the Milestone Institute) have in part helped establish, the people that the Government itself hopes to incentivise to return. The proposed legislation would undo all the efforts made in this direction by dismantling an institution that is ideally positioned to help realise this goal.
Moreover, given the extent to which the Milestone Institute shares faculty, alumni, projects and common goals with Central European University, the fate of this institution is integrally tied up with our own.
If you would like to support the cause of CEU visit this page.
We ask our community – our students, faculty, alumni and friends – and our partner organisations to stand in solidarity and join us in defending CEU’s right to continue its essential work in Hungary.
This is the time to speak Truth to Power.
Dániel Léderer, György Greskovits and Ádám Zeitler