Minister Confirms Students in Hungary Can Participate in Erasmus+ Program

Hungary Europe Higher Education News International Studies by Erudera News Apr 06, 2023

Hungarian Minister Tibor Navracsics

University students in Hungary will be able to participate in the EU’s Erasmus+ mobility program from autumn this year and apply for scholarships in the same way as before, the Hungarian Minister of Regional Development, Tibor Navracsics, has confirmed.

The announcement came after Minister Navracsics met with EU commissioners Elisa Ferreira, Johannes Hahn and Mariya Gabriel in Brussels on Wednesday, April 5, reports.

Navracsics said EU’s programs, such as Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe, will continue to be funded after 2024, and an agreement settling all the issues between Hungary and the EU Commission is expected to be reached in the summer. He also made such comments on Twitter.

The Minister said he asked the three commissioners to send a letter to the Tempus Public Foundation, which manages international mobility applications, to reassure students that the program will not be disrupted and they are eligible to apply for Erasmus+ scholarships.

Navracsics also confirmed that the European Commission had already sent a letter to Hungarian universities and consortium partners, explaining that the participation in the EU’s program will go ahead without interruption.

“If no agreement is reached, that would only cause a problem in the future,” he said

Moreover, the Minister said discussion on regulations under the new model of foundations controlling several Hungarian universities also took place, pointing out that a consultative proposal will be sent to Brussels.

He added the disagreement with the EU Commission concerned the issue of conflict-of-interest regulations regarding membership of the boards managing the country’s universities under the new model.

Earlier this year, the EU Commission said it would freeze Erasmus+ funding for more than 30 Hungarian higher education institutions, among them 21 universities, due to the rule of law concerns. However, the Hungarian government insisted it has met all Brussels requests, describing the EU’s decision to stop funding these programs in Hungary as “intolerable and unacceptable.”

At a press conference in January, Minister of Hungary’s Prime Minister’s Office, Gergely Gulyás, said that Hungary would take legal action if no agreement is reached with the EU.

“It is unacceptable and intolerable what the European Commission is doing to Hungary,” Gulyás said.

Regarding a potential deal with the EU, the Finance Minister of Hungary said that the government will cover the costs of the Erasmus program if it fails to solve the issue.

The Erasmus program was launched in 1987, and Hungary joined it in 1998. In 2021, a total of 8,752 students left Hungary to participate in study abroad through Erasmus, and nearly 4,000 staff also participated in the program.

>> EUA Urges Hungarian Govt to Address Universities’ Autonomy Issues ASAP

Image source: Twitter account of the Minister of Regional Development Tibor Navracsics

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