Hungarian Academy of Sciences turns to Constitutional Court

The Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) has turned for assistance to the country’s Constitutional Court, asking it to annul a new law that places the MTA under the direct control of the Hungarian government.

MTA’s president, László Lovász, said that the new research network, under which MTA operates as from September 1, violates academic freedom and the academy’s right to own property. Former MTA assets will now be used by the new Eötvös Loránd Research Network (ELKH), although the law prescribes no remuneration for this usage.

The government has always justified the move by claiming that Hungary’s scientific performance has failed to advance over the past decade and that the country lacks innovation. The newly appointed leader of ELKH, Miklós Maróth, asked the Democratic Union of Scientific Workers to think about justifiable salaries for its researchers, considering that Hungary produces less scientific papers compared to other CEE countries.