Европейски алианс на академиите Europski savez akademija Evropská aliance akademií Europæisk sammenslutning af akademier Europäische Allianz der Akademien Europese alliantie van de academiën European Alliance of Academies Euroopa akadeemiate ühendus Akatemioiden eurooppalainen liittoutuma Alliance européenne des academies Ευρωπαϊκή σύμπραξη των Ακαδημιών Akadémiák Európai Szövetsége Comhghuallaíocht Eorpach na nAcadamh Alleanza europea delle Accademie Eiropas Akadēmiju alianse Europos akademijų aljansas Allianza Ewropea tal-Akkademji Europejski sojusz akademii Aliança Europeia das Academias Alianța Europeană a Academiilor Európska aliancia akadémií Zveza evropskih akademij Alianza Europea de Academias Europeiska akademiska alliansen


European Alliance of Academies stands in solidarity with Agnieszka Holland in her right to artistic freedom!

During its conference in Krakow today, the European Alliance of Academies, a network of over 60 academies from around Europe, has expressed its support of Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland who is facing personal hostility from the Polish Minister of Justice, Mr Zbigniew Ziobro, for her film Zielona Granica (The Green Border). The film was awarded with the Special Jury Prize at the 80th Venice International Film Festival this year.

Jeanine Meerapfel, President of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin and initiator of the Alliance, commented that “comparing Agnieszka Holland to the propagandists of the Third Reich is an attack to the dignity of a highly acclaimed filmmaker and colleague and a violation of the right to artistic expression.”

The European Alliance of Academies is joining the European Film Academy in its support for and solidarity with Agnieszka Holland, expressed some days ago (the text in full here).

See press release here

The members of the European Alliance of Academies are campaigning for the freedom of artistic expression and for cultural rights in Poland. Within the framework of a study trip from 21–22 September 2023, Villa Decius – the Alliance’s partner in Poland – is organising talks with artists and people involved in the cultural sector whose artistic work is compromised by political and financial pressure.

See press release 18 September 2023 here

Livestream of the Round Table at Villa Decius, 22 September 2023, 11:30 am, here


Cécile Wajsbrot, author and member of the European Alliance of Academies, summarises the concerns of Alliance members about the situation for art and culture in Hungary.

The Mathias Corvinus Collegium – originally founded in 1996 as a private university for art and social sciences – has over the years become an institution to shape the elite of Orbán’s society as well as helping to create an international network of right and far-right forces in Europe. Last May the MCC bought 90% shares of the private Modul University in Vienna. It will not infer with the University curricula or academics, was the announcement from MCC. But on the Kahlenberg* many were concerned about the future.

Two weeks ago, the same MCC has acquired a 98,41% stake in Libri, which is, along with Lirà, one of the two main players in the Hungarian publishing landscape. The MCC had already acquired 25,4% of Libri in 2020, enough to block decisions. Libri, as well as other commercial or most prestigious publishing houses featuring authors such as Péter Nádas, Colm Tóibín or Carlo Rovelli, possesses about sixty bookstores all over Hungary. Despite reassurances, a few authors already informed they would step out from Libri. The very official Hungarian Writers’ Union on the contrary welcomed the news.

And now the Parliament is considering a new set of restrictions in order to diminish professional autonomy for teachers in response to their demands for higher wages and reduced centralization.

We all know or should know how it works. At the beginning, dictators tends to offer a rather friendly face. But in the secrecy of offices and departments, they are carefully preparing the coming assaults against every kind of freedom – education, art, culture. And they later or earlier show their true faces. This is happening in Hungary, it is happening now in Poland, it is beginning to happen in Italy. Who will be the next in line?

Having just come back from Budapest, going soon to Cracow, the European Alliance of Academies wants to express its great concern about increasing aggressions against freedom of expression and creation in Europe, all the more as it happens under cover – without too much noise, without too much publicity.

More information on the Alliance’s activities for artistic freedom in Hungary:

Event Solidarity with Szépírók Társasága, May 2023

Event Battle with the Empty Sky: Language, nationalism and freedom of art in early 21st-century Europe, October 2021

Declaration Hungary beyond all Hope, December 2020

Report Freedom of Art and Autonomy of Cultural Institutions in Hungary, February 2021

Letter of Complaint to the UN Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights, May 2021

Online Petition to the European Parliament, May 2021


* Where the university is located 


On 30‒31 May 2023, the European Alliance of Academies held a conference of solidarity with the Society of Hungarian Authors Szépírók Társasága in Budapest. 

Eleven European countries were represented. Both internal and public podium discussions focused on the increasingly restricted freedom of art and artistic platforms in Hungary and other European countries. In internal discussions, representatives from non-government-run cultural organisations drew attention to a lack of funding, production and distribution for alternative artistic work. During a public discussion with the writer György Dalos, filmmaker Béla Tarr, poet and novelist Katharina Schultens, director Bartosz Szydłowski and others, it became apparent that, unlike individual freedoms, institutional independence is mainly endangered.

Foto: Gergely Oláh

Jeanine Meerapfel ‒ filmmaker, president of the Akademie der Künste and initiator of the European Alliance of Academies ‒ stated: “We have come to Budapest to learn more about the situation facing artists in Hungary. The European Alliance of Academies will continue to pressure the European Parliament to insist the Hungarian government support independent artist associations.”

During the upcoming Spanish EU Council Presidency, the European Alliance of Academies is planning artistic actions and conversations with members of the European Parliament before the 2024 European elections to raise awareness about increasingly restricted freedoms in the arts.

For more information on the programme and livestream here

An event of the European Alliance of Academies in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste and Szépírók Társasága. With the kind support of the Central European University and the Freeszfe Initiative

Foto: Gergely Oláh




We condemn the views of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in his speech on July 23, 2022. We regard them to be a violation of universal human rights. His words, evoking the spirit of the third Hungarian anti-Jewish law of 1941 – that prohibited marriage and criminalized sexual relationship between Jewish and non-Jewish Hungarian citizens – are scientifically and culturally unacceptable, politically and ideologically alarming. We protest against the Prime Minister of Hungary discriminating between people based on their origin and culture. Our conviction is that social existence rests on communication and contact (to quote his word, ’mixing’) between people and groups of people. This is the source of all scientific, cultural and spiritual development. Racist and ethnicity-based politics means the denial of human equality. It leads to discrimination, incitement, verbal and physical violence and – as the history of Hungary in the twentieth century and today’s Russian aggression against Ukraine prove – ultimately to bloodshed. That is why we find it vital to emphasize that the terminology of Nazi ideology cannot be used ambiguously: the use of such words is never independent of the ideology itself.

Budapest, July 28, 2022.


Dóra Maurer, president
Győző Ferencz, executive president
István Haász, head of Fine and Applied Arts Dept.
Géza D. Hegedűs, head of Motion Picture and Theatre Dept.
Imre Flóra, head of Literature Dept.
László Tihanyi, head of Musical Arts Dept.
Barnabás Winkler, head of Architecture Dept.
Zsófia Csomay, board member
Károly Klimó, board member


Link to the Hungarian language original:



The European Alliance of Academies condemns the war against Ukraine

The unthinkable has happened: War in Europe. This war polarizes. In particular with regard to the question of how to deal with Russian and Belarusian artists who publicly position themselves against the war.

Despite this neuralgic point, the European Alliance of Academies has agreed by a large majority on the following statement:

The European Alliance of Academies condemns the war against Ukraine
The transnational alliance invites Ukrainian art academies to join and calls for dialogue with artists in Russia and Belarus

The European Alliance of Academies condemns Putin’s war and declares its solidarity with the people of Ukraine. The European Alliance of Academies invites Ukrainian art academies and cultural institutions to join the pan-European alliance. Russian and Belarusian artists and academics who are raising their voices against the war at great personal risk are also invited to join the European Alliance of Academies. They have our solidarity. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are more important than ever, which is why the alliance is expressing its gratitude to and solidarity with all critical journalists. Political and economic sanctions which extend to the realm of civil society and to the artistic and academic sphere, should instead be solved through critical dialogue. This has always been the right course of action and must be maintained. The worlds’ war power ability easily can destroy all of our civilizations at once.

The European Alliance of Academies is committed to cultural unity and transnational solidarity. On the initiative of Jeanine Meerapfel, President of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, this European peace project was founded in October 2020. The founding manifesto states: “Art and culture are essential for a functioning democracy and for social cohesion. We stand for the freedom of the arts as a prerequisite for our cultural, social and political way of life. The independence of artistic positions and institutions from political, national and religious prescriptions is the foundation of democracy.”

The European Alliance of Academies currently has 67 members. Its structure, which has so far concentrated on the member states of the EU, is to be extended from now on to embrace geographical Europe.

Credit: Javier Scheytman



Copyright – Archive of initiative

A students initiative at DAMU and YAMU in Czech Rebuplic gives public voice to campus testemonies in order to uncover outdated structures and misrouted distribution of power. The European Alliance of academies strongly supports the initiative.

Please see here for more information on the ongoing activities: https://www.europeantheatre.eu/news/student-initiative-you-dont-have-to-endure-it-gives-public-voice-to-campus-testimonies

An interview with the initiators of the activities can be read here: https://www.ascendingdesign.org/?page_id=19776


Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

Recording of livestream of the performance on 07.07.2021


Declaration of the Society of Hungarian Authors

The Hungarian Parliament has recently discussed and adopted the proposal on „Stricter action against paedophile offenders and the amendment of certain laws for the protection of children“, the following passage of which has become the most known and controversial: „For the purposes of this Act and to ensure the rights of the child, it is prohibited to make pornographic content available to children under the age of eighteen, as well as content that depicts sexuality in an autotelic way, or promotes or displays gender non-conformity, gender reassignment or homosexuality.”

You do not need to be a legal scholar or a linguist to see, from the title alone and then in detail in the text of the law itself, how it attempts to confuse the case and the need for stronger, necessary action by the authorities against paedophilia with drastic restrictions on freedom of expression and artistic freedom and fundamental human rights. For political purposes, it deliberately juxtaposes, distorts, and obscures things that do not belong together. After all, representation is no more the same as promotion than homosexuality and paedophilia. The right-wing and fascism. The left and the communist. The Hungarian person and the supporters of the governing party (and vice versa). The refugee and the terrorist. Public money and private property. Information and propaganda. The government and masterfulness. The list goes on and on. 

If we interpret the law literally, and we can do no other, it is clear that, on this basis, an important part of world literature, other arts and, in essence, universal culture is being removed from public education and relegated to the late-night time slot in the media. Among them, the works of many of our fellow writers may not be graduation subjects in the future. The Hungarian Government has thus forced through parliament a completely pointless, slipshod and predictably unenforceable law, which could hardly have had any other purpose than: 1. to kick-start the election campaign; 2. to break up the opposition coalition; 3. to violate the human dignity and make impossible the lives of various groups of its citizens for petty power-political ends. And not least, as an incidental success, to take another decisive step towards the broadest possible restriction of freedom of expression and artistic expression.

The Society of Hungarian Authors protests against the restriction of fundamental freedoms, the divisive and harmful policies of the Hungarian government, and the introduction and enforcement of the law. At the same time, if the government’s plan is indeed to protect Hungarian youth, who are raised on today’s mass media platforms, who consider the free choice and consumption of different content as a fundamental principle, and who are otherwise open, sensitive, enlightened and informed, from themselves, without asking, well, we wish them good luck with that. 

We fear, however, that this was not the idea. In that case, the situation is much more serious than the text of a law would suggest. We have reached what is likely to be a memorable point in historical descent, where every responsible Hungarian citizen has a duty to resist.

The Board of the Society of Hungarian Authors


Solidarity is fine, but action speaks louder than words. The European Alliance of Academies is taking the European Union’s Europe Day on 9 May as an opportunity to advocate for the freedom of the arts – in Hungary especially.

In cooperation with the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Alliance is launching an online petition to the European Parliament and filing a complaint with the UN Special Rapporteur for Culture, Karima Bennoune.

The European Alliance of Academies is calling for the violations of artistic freedom in Hungary to be opposed with the legal instruments available and for the legal framework to be enforced to protect the independence of cultural institutions and cultural workers wherever it is threatened. European Alliance of Academies calls for the violations of artistic freedom in Hungary to be prosecuted with existing legal measures and for the legal framework to protect the independence of cultural institutions and cultural practitioners wherever this is threatened.


Mit dem Laden des Videos akzeptieren Sie die Datenschutzerklärung von YouTube.
Mehr erfahren

Video laden

Online event „Artistic Freedom in Europe – Mission (in)complete!?“

The approach was discussed with stakeholders from culture and politics in Europe. German Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Heiko Maas, will open the event with a welcoming address. Sabine Verheyen, Chairwoman of the Committee on Culture and Media in the European Parliament, will react from a European perspective. Alliance stakeholders from Hungary, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK, Slovenia and Germany will present their means of Action.

With: Liesbeth Bik (Akademie van Kunsten/Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), Ferenc Czinki (Society of Hungarian Authors), Marion Döring (European Film Academy), Gyözö Ferencz (Széchenyi Academy of Letters and Arts), Wolfgang Kaleck (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights), Dominika Kasprowicz (Villa Decius Kraków), Christoph Markschies (Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities), Jeanine Meerapfel (Akademie der Künste), Norbert Palz (Berlin University of the Arts), Aleš Šteger (writer), Marina Warner (Royal Society of Literature), among others
Presenter: Annette Riedel, Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Download Online Petition, European Parliament

Download Complaint Letter, UN Special Rapporteur for Culture

Supported by the Federal Foreign Office and the Society of Friends of the Akademie der Künste

More information on the event see here: Artistic Freedom in Europe


The members of the European Alliance of Academies are in solidarity with Prof. Jan Grabowski, Professor of History at the University of Ottawa, and Prof. Barbara Engelking, founder and director of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw and professor at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

The two internationally renowned Holocaust researchers were ordered by a Polish court in Warsaw to apologise to the plaintiff Filomena Leszczynska, who sued them for defaming her uncle Edward Malinowski and for “damaging national identity and national pride”. In the research work Night Without End: The Fate Of Jews In Selected Counties Of Occupied Poland (2018), the two researchers presented Edward Malinowski both as the rescuer of a Jewish village inhabitant and as a collaborator with German National Socialists. The plaintiff accused the researchers of inaccuracy in the supporting documents.

At a time when the right to “the cult of remembering decedents” is considered more important than independent Holocaust research, the European Alliance of Academies points to the freedom of arts and science and the independence of research institutions established in Article 13 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

In the name of academic freedom, we are also protesting against the politics of history of the Polish ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), which has repeatedly tried to reduce Poland’s complex historical role during the National Socialist era by way of national legend building to a “nation of rescuers of Jews”. This form of historical revisionism must not be accepted with a shrug in Europe either.

A.L. Kennedy 
There can be no peace or security anywhere while perpetrators of crimes against humanity are allowed to evade responsibility. No secure state can base national pride on national falsehood, or the evasion of international human rights law. It is vastly dangerous to diminish the complexity and culpability involved in fascist occupation, especially at a time of rising fascism. To do so endangers citizens of individual states and emboldens forces which endanger us all.



The Hungarian Network of Academics’ (OHA) issued the following declaration of protest against the appropriation of Hungarian universities:

The Orbán regime has changed gears in the process of seizing control of universities over the last few days: as if under martial law, five state universities have been rushed into a procedure to transform them into foundations, stripping them of all their remaining autonomy.

During the process, the government used a wide range of illegitimate means: universities were blackmailed that they would only be able to access further funds on condition of accepting their reorganisation into foundations. The rectors of the universities learnt upon arrival at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM) that they would „voluntarily“ hand over their universities to foundations, otherwise they could not access any of the 1500 billion in EU development funds. On the day of the vote, the Prime Minister himself warmly recommended that the universities commit to the new „model“. Hungary’s state-owned national public-service broadcasting organization, Media Services and Support Trust Fund (MTVA) announced the transformation of the universities as a done deal days before the respective university senates had even voted on the matter.

All along, government communications were characterized by a tendency to keep those affected uninformed, mislead and misinformed; false promises, the withholding of information, non-disclosure, and doublespeak. In the summer of 2020, László Palkovics claimed that “the largest institutions – including the three largest universities outside Budapest, as well as the Semmelweis University (SOTE), Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics ‒ will continue to work and develop further under state support.”

Early January 2021, rectors of institutions now included in the process of being turned into foundations had no idea that it would be their turn, yet by the end of the month they had to push through decisive votes in their respective senates. Only in the middle of January was a document leaked that contained the decision that the legislative amendment would be presented to Parliament on 9 February.

The rectors of the respective universities completed the tasks they were assigned, without even attempting to ask for time to undertake impact assessment and in-depth consultation. The forced pace of the process made it impossible for the universities to conduct a wide-ranging and thorough discussion of the question of transformation within their academic communities. In this extraordinary situation, spontaneous forums were organized at some university faculties, where the majority of those present refused to accept this forced transformation. There were official meetings where some of those wishing to speak were intimidated or silenced, or where the voting procedure was conducted in breach of established rules.

It is a disgrace that the Hungarian government carries out fundamental changes in the structure and ownership in Hungarian higher education with methods last seen in the 1950s. Turning universities over to private foundations suggests misappropriation, since valuable real estate and enormous resources for development will be transferred to FIDESZ oligarchs, losing their „public asset“ character.

The projected transformations will annihilate academic freedom in teaching and research; will jeopardise students‘ progress to further education; will endanger tuition-free training; and will limit access to university education. The transformation into foundations entails that academic staff lose their civil servant status, which may open the gates to mass layoffs. This is a new stage in the all-out war against intellectuals and, at the same time, against the entire Hungarian society.

Hungary is being hijacked and has been robbed for more than ten years, with increasingly aggressive methods, and ever more shamelessly. The state of emergency and the ensuing restrictions on gatherings are used by the Government to introduce measures that are against the interest of the Hungarian nation and the Hungarian people. The transfer of universities to foundations does not serve the public good, nor does it serve to increase the quality of Hungarian higher education or research – it serves the interests of those in power. These forced transformations make it possible for universities of great tradition to be handed over to private foundations run by FIDESZ party cadres, who will then continue to rule over higher education even after the fall of the “ National Cooperation System“ (NER), for eternity …

The Hungarian Network of Academics object to the anti-educational and anti-academic politics of the Hungarian Government, object to their hijacking Hungarian higher education, and object to their trampling upon academic freedom. We demand that the Members of Parliament block the enactment of the privatisation of public, state owned universities! We express our solidarity with protesting members of the academic community and demand that all responsible citizens and organisations support their fight with all available means to protest against the process of transforming universities into foundations. 

Budapest, 5 February 2021

Original Hungarian text: http://oktatoihalozat.hu/

Европейски алианс на академиите Europski savez akademija Evropská aliance akademií Europæisk sammenslutning af akademier Europäische Allianz der Akademien Europese alliantie van de academiën European Alliance of Academies Euroopa akadeemiate ühendus Akatemioiden eurooppalainen liittoutuma Alliance européenne des academies Ευρωπαϊκή σύμπραξη των Ακαδημιών Akadémiák Európai Szövetsége Comhghuallaíocht Eorpach na nAcadamh Alleanza europea delle Accademie Eiropas Akadēmiju alianse Europos akademijų aljansas Allianza Ewropea tal-Akkademji Europejski sojusz akademii Aliança Europeia das Academias Alianța Europeană a Academiilor Európska aliancia akadémií Zveza evropskih akademij Alianza Europea de Academias Europeiska akademiska alliansen