Hungary will not relax legislation on foreign-accredited universities despite EU pressure and a German offer to mediate the Soros university dispute, government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told Reuters on Wednesday.
"There is no change in our core view," Kovacs said. "We will not change the laws and regulations that govern higher education in Hungary. We still operate on that basis," he added.
Soros, a Hungarian-born US billionaire, financial speculator and philanthropist, whose university was reportedly "forced" out of Hungary late last year, is just one of several sensitive topics in Brussels-Budapest relations. The two sides have repeatedly clashed on other issues, particularly immigration and the mandatory migrant resettlement quotas supported by Brussels and EU heavyweights France and Germany, which Hungarian authorities insist would undermine European countries' rights to border security.
Last year, Hungary's parliament passed a so-called 'Stop Soros' bill, criminalising aid to illegal immigrants and making it harder for them to seek asylum in Hungary. Earlier, Soros' Budapest-based Open Society Foundations declared that it would be relocating its Hungarian office to Berlin amid pressure.