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Ambassador David Cornstein is Cautiously Optimistic About CEU’s Fate

2018.10.12.

The diplomat who took office this summer was supposed to talk about the meaning of the American dream in the era of Donald Trump at the Central European University, but the audience made up of students and educators was more interested in CEU’s future.

In his introduction, the rector of the university, Michael Ignatieff, said that Cornstein would help in the meditation between the Hungarian government and CEU, solving a problem that Ignatieff ironically referred to as a “small local difficulty.”

The ambassador mentioned that the American side has already arranged a meeting with Hungarian authorities to address the issues surrounding CEU. Although Viktor Orbán will not be present, the Prime Minister’s Office will be represented at a high level, Cornstein said.

According to Cornstein, he is satisfied by the relationship they’ve built during his first one hundred days in office. The US government hasn’t asked anything of Hungary yet, but may request something in the future. This could be the solution to the issue of CEU, Cornstein suggested.

The audience asked him how he proposes to protect the freedom of the press in Hungary as he promised at his hearing with Congress. Cornstein, who earlier stated that he did not see any violations of liberty of the press in Hungary, said that he now has to prioritize CEU’s case.