Weekly newsletter

Palkovics Rejects Compromise and is Ready to Use Force to Reform Academy

Ábrahám Vass 2019.05.15.

On Tuesday to ATV, Ministry for Innovation and Technology (ITM) leader László Palkovics confirmed he would present the bill about the restructuring of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) to the Parliament until May 27th, allowing it to be accepted as early as June. This and his other, more recent statements seem to confirm that he isn’t ready to compromise and will push the bill through by force, should he feel it necessary.

Palkovics also claimed that, in addition to the MTA law, a 2014 law on the development and innovation of scientific research as well as the budget and some other laws also need to undergo modifications.

This recent announcement comes on the heels of Palkovics’ statement issued last Friday in reaction to MTA President László Lovász’s interview with Válasz Online. Lovász told the independent conservative portal that the ITM leader seemed to be more open to compromise during the talks (which restarted following the General Assembly of MTA’s vote rejecting the most essential points of Palkovics’ plans). Based on this, the MTA President voiced his hope that “it’s not impossible” for the research institutes to remain a part of MTA.

Academy Hardens Stance Against Govt’s Radical Plans

In his reaction to HVG, however, the Minister rebuffed these claims and explained that although he is “glad that Lovász had a good impression of their meeting, there was no shift towards compromise.” He insisted that “the government remains determined to separate the research institutes from the Academy.” He also recommended a solution which would grant the government parity-based representation in the newly-founded governing body and not just a third of the representation as is the case with MTA’s plan.

featured image: Palkovics and Lovász ahead of last week’s General Assembly meeting; via MTI/Tibor Illyés