Act no. LXVIII of 2019 on the structure and financing of the research, development and innovation system (2/2019)


Osservatorio sulle fonti / Observatory on Sources of Law


Section: Sources of Law in the EU member States


By Viktor Zoltán Kazai, Central European University, Budapest

Name of the Act/s

Act no. LXVIII of 2019 on the amendment of certain acts to transform the structure and financing of the research, development and innovation system / 2019. évi LXVIII. törvény a kutatás, fejlesztés és innovációs rendszer intézményrendszerének és finanszírozásának átalakításához szükséges egyes törvények módosításáról

Date of entry into force of original text

1 August 2019

Date of Text (Adopted)

2 July 2019

Type of text

Parliamentary act / törvény

Enacted by

Hungarian National Assembly

Reference to the Constitution (art)

Article 38 (1) and (2) (qualified majority requirement)

Article X (2) (academic freedom)

The English version of the Fundamental Law is available at:

Subject area

Academic freedom


On 4 June 2019, the Hungarian minister of innovation and technology (László Palkovics), on behalf of the government, introduced a bill in parliament aiming at the radical reorganization of the structure and financing of the research, development and innovation system. According to the official explanatory memorandum, the legislator’s aim was to enhance the country’s scientific and technological competitiveness. However, the bill was severely criticized by the scientific community. The most controversial issue was the deprivation of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (HAS) of its research network and the strengthening of the government’s influence in financing research activities.

Shortly after the introduction of the bill, the President of the HAS requested the government to reconsider its standpoint, especially because the academic community did not see any legitimate justification supporting the reform given the fact that the HAS is one of the most successful research centers in Europe.

The minister of innovation and technology stated in an interview that “the reorganisation of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences is reinforcing the freedom and independence of research”. This statement stands in stark contrast with the opinion of the Presidium of the HAS who issued a press release shortly after the adoption of the law saying that “The Hungarian Academy of Sciences regretfully acknowledges the fact that despite the undivided disapproval of the Hungarian and international scientific communities and the researchers of the Academy, the Hungarian Parliament has passed the law (…) After the enactment of the new law the oldest, most reputable and internationally recognized scientific organization of the country will be deprived from its research network. This decision is especially disappointing because it has been made without any meaningful criticism or a legitimate government strategy on the new research system.”

As it is reported by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature, not only the Hungarian, but also the international academic community raised their voice against the law, including the European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities and the Max Planck Society.

Available Text

Osservatorio sulle fonti

Rivista telematica registrata presso il Tribunale di Firenze (decreto n. 5626 del 24 dicembre 2007). ISSN 2038-5633.

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© 2017 Registrazione presso il Tribunale di Firenze n. 5626 del 24 dicembre 2007 - ISSN 2038-5633