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Science is sacrosanct, says man with eye on top EU post

Image: European People's Party [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Manfred Weber, who has put himself forward to become the next president of the European Commission, has said he will not compromise on standing up for academic freedom.

Weber, a German MEP who leads the largest political group in the European Parliament, the European People’s Party, described himself as a “bridge builder” in a podcast interview with the news website Politico, published on 11 October. But he said this did not extend to accepting some of the illiberal values espoused by the current governments of Hungary and Poland.

Asked whether he would support the continued EPP membership of Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán, who has pushed a series of laws restricting the activities of universities and non-governmental organisations, Weber said Orbán would “have to go in another direction”.

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