At the end of October 2018, Die Junge Akademie (Germany) held its Autumn Plenary Session at the Central European University (CEU) in Budapest, Hungary. Just one day before, the CEU announced its move to Vienna due to recent developments within Hungary. This decision arose in response to a law proposed by the Hungarian government that threatened to greatly restrict academic freedom in Hungary in general and specifically challenged CEU’s legitimacy. The press release from Die Junge Akademie is available here.

The date for the Autumn Plenary Session, which had been decided during the summer of 2017, could not have been more aptly chosen. Precisely one day before the start of the plenary session, CEU leadership announced that the CEU was to move to Vienna. From September 2019 onwards, students intending to begin their studies at CEU will only be able to matriculate in Vienna. Thus, with every coming year the campus in Budapest will become gradually emptier.

The decision to hold the plenary session at CEU as a signal of support was, and still is, clearly more necessary than ever before. The session also made clear how important direct exchanges are for interdisciplinary work. Planning for the next plenary session is already underway: the Spring Plenary Session will be held at the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in Halle, which is one of Die Junge Akademie’s sponsoring academies.