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Exclusion from Erasmus Education Programs “Political Blackmail”

MTI-Hungary Today 2023.09.21.

Since the Hungarian government has fulfilled the European Commission’s expectations regarding Erasmus education programs, the ongoing discriminatory case against students is a clear case of political blackmail, Fidesz MEP Andrea Bocskor told journalists in Brussels on Wednesday.

Speaking after a hearing of the European Parliament’s Petitions Committee (PETI) regarding a petition launched by the National Youth Council (NIT) on the Erasmus program, Andrea Bocskor said the European Commission’s action is “unacceptable and illegal” as it is clearly aimed at exploiting students to put pressure on the Hungarian government.

By discriminating against Hungarian students, the European Commission demonstrates that the European Union is allowed to do anything, whereby the Hungarian government can be held accountable on flimsy grounds,”

she said.

During the debate, the MEP stressed that the EU’s action violates the principle of proportionality and contradicts the essence of the Erasmus program, which is supposed to be inclusive and not exclusionary.

Instead of pursuing the direct and harmful intention of ending participation in the program, the interests of Hungarian students should be taken into account,”

Bocskor added.

Loránt Vincze, MEP of the Hungarian Democratic Alliance of Romania (RMDSZ), said in a statement that the European Commission made a mistake by withdrawing the Erasmus program, as the students concerned would not be able to benefit from the European body of knowledge and gain experience abroad.

The European Commission is also doing wrong if it continues to expect answers from Hungary, which has already responded several times and even met expectations,

he affirmed.

And the fact that the EP Committee on Petitions is keeping open the petition launched by Hungarian students proves that the arguments put forward are a real problem. This has succeeded in making it clear that the real victims of the case are students, teachers, and researchers, Loránt Vincze added.

Photo: Loránt Vincze, Facebook

Ádám Turi, vice president of the National Youth Council, which submitted the petition, said that the collection of signatures will continue until a solution is found for the participation of Hungarian students.

The political decisions were not made by the students. But the EU process punishes them,

Turi argued.

Ádám Turi and Andrea Bocskor. Photo: Andrea Bocskor Facebook

According to the EU Council’s implementation decision of December 15, 2022, no new legal commitments can be made with model universities in Hungary, which also affects the Erasmus mobility program, meaning there will be no more international student exchanges. By freezing mobility opportunities, some 182,000 students, including 30,000 foreign students, will lose the opportunity to gain international experience, and many thousands more young foreigners could lose the chance to study in Hungary.

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Via MTI, Featured image: Pixabay

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