In an attempt to privatise immense public wealth and public universities, the governing majority adopted legislation that establishes the concept of “public trust funds performing a public function” and designated 32 entities as such.
Most of the newly established Funds are tasked with the management of higher education institutions. The state is thus creating de facto private universities under Hungarian public law in a way that it endows them with public assets of very high value, undertakes to continue to finance them generously, while ceding all rights to the governing body consisting of life-long members whose loyalty to the incumbent party is unquestionable. Consequently, under the new legal status, these trust funds will be financed from taxpayer’s money but will be practically shielded from public scrutiny and from any possibility of state intervention should the funds be spent on purposes other than the public interest function they were established for.
Our information note, available here, explains the legal framework of these opaque structures and provides an overview of the new entities.