The Union says it should also be ordered to stop market-distorting Chinese money flows and the spread of communist ideology.
Recent news is that the EU wants to control market-distorting subsidies from non-EU governments that give their beneficiaries an unfair competitive advantage in the Community’s single market. According to the Brussels panel, companies inflated with state aid are hampering a level playing field by acquiring companies operating on the continent, participating in public procurement procedures within the EU or engaging in other commercial activities.
According to proposals published on Wednesday, the European Commission could in the future investigate and suspend mergers and tenders involving financial contributions from non-EU governments above a certain threshold.
Although the Brussels board did not name the addressee of the motion, it is clear to everyone that it is primarily China, Chinese companies. In Hungary, the Budapest-Belgrade railway line and the campus of Shanghai Fudan University will be established with the participation of Chinese state-owned companies, but none of the bidders won the contract in an open competition in accordance with EU regulations. The Union will not retroactively examine the legality of these agreements, but may intervene in similar market maneuvers in the future. It has been mentioned several times that in addition to the control of economic activity, scientific and educational cooperation with foreign universities and institutions, mainly in China, should also be examined. Several organizations and experts have already urged the EU to adopt guidelines on how Member States should preserve the integrity of their higher education institutions from attempts at foreign influence. Roland Freudenstein, director of the Martens Center, the Brussels-based research institute of the European People’s Party, discusses in a recent study that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) considers the export of its political views and ideology to be key, with foreign educational institutions playing a role. “The Communist Party has significantly increased its resources in European universities to curb narratives hostile to the Chinese state,” the author writes, citing an article in the New York Times that Vang-hu-ning, a former professor at Fudan University and a member of the top party leadership, developed a strategy for spreading his communist ideology abroad. Freudenstein also shows in some examples how much cooperation between Chinese and European educational institutions goes according to the tastes of Asians.
- At the prestigious Freie University in Berlin, holders of Beijing-funded professorships must abide by Chinese law.
- Participants in the Chinese Senior Management Program at Cambridge University in the UK are selected by the CCP Organizing Committee.
- At the annual events held at Charles University in Prague and sponsored by the Chinese Embassy, speakers are expected not to criticize the Asian country.
German Green Party MEP Reinhard Bütikofer, head of the EP delegation for relations with China, says Fudan is one of China’s most prestigious universities. But he finds it problematic that the Hungarian government calls him to Budapest after he expelled the CEU and enacted a law to strengthen political control over universities. “A Chinese university is invited to Hungary when research and university freedom is severely restricted. This is more than suspicious,” he told our newspaper. According to him, it cannot be hidden that the EU cannot interfere in the education systems and education policies of the Member States. “All Member States are signatories to the Treaty on European Union, Article 2 of which contains European values. These must be respected, regardless of whether they have European, national, regional or local competences. There is no such thing as being a democrat at European level and a national at national level. autocrat “, explained the German MEP.
“Telecom” doesn’t come out
This is already a chemically pure policy, where there is no room for professional arguments and compromises – the latest government decision on the Budapest campus of the Chinese university was summed up by a specialist familiar with the Student City project, according to Minister László Palkovics. From now on, local governments and authorities will hardly have a say in the project. In order to prepare and implement the investment, a separate state-owned joint-stock company with HUF 400 million assets will be established, the head of which will also be Palkovics, and since the Minister of Innovation has been appointed as the owner of the ownership rights, he can supervise himself. The government has also had trouble granting exemptions from the decision-making process for high-rise investments, allowing for even narrower decision-making than at present.
According to the most equitable and at the same time most difficult to implement provision of the decision, the development area necessary for the implementation of Fudan Hungary University must be delimited in such a way that only state real estate is included.
On the one hand, it follows that the map presented earlier by Secretary of State Balázs Fürjes on the location of Fudan was really just an empty bluff. A significant part of the plots marked there are from the capital, the IX. district or private investors. Mayor Gergely Karácsony and Mayor Krisztina Baranyi of Ferencváros predicted that not a single square centimeter will be handed over for the implementation of the Chinese university at the expense of the Student City. Palkovic had previously promised to surprise the district and the capital with “nothing to offer”, but the government does not want to agree on this in any way. However, solving the problem will not be easy for Palkovics either. It is difficult to read anything from half-sentence government regulations, but no matter how we rotate the map, math will not come out – Krisztina Baranyi answered Népszava’s question, according to whom it is not possible to create a coherent development area without municipal or private plots. The district has a total of 50 plots of land in the Student City, the capital has quite a few, and even the proportion of privately owned properties is not small. If they were built only on public plots, a strange building chess board would emerge, with Fudan buildings surrounded by empty municipal and private plots. Plus, it’s all in horseback. This is unlikely to please the Chinese partner.
Népszava’s source on property relations also drew attention to the fact that the majority of state real estate is located in the vicinity of Nagyvásártelep and on the river bank south of it. But there is a municipal lane between the two.
Although a tall and narrow building phalanx can be erected on the coastal area, this would capture the view from the Great Marketplace, intended for the soul of the Student City, and the park open to the Danube planned for it. This is in no way compatible with Snohetta’s previous master plan based on political and professional consensus. If, on the other hand, the construction of riverside areas is dispensed with, the 26 hectares will only come out if the university area extends well to the island peak, but then a large piece of the Great Forest promised to the people of Csepel will have to be bitten out.
If not sideways, then up
The 520 thousand “built” square meters promised to Fudan (compared to the one million square meters of offices built in the golden age of Budapest, but in five years, in different parts of the city) can also be built by building much higher buildings in the area than allowed by the current district building regulations. According to the current regulations, the majority of the Student City has a built-up area index of 3, so if half of the 26 hectares are built, the area is not enough either, and the roads, some green, communal areas only need to be left. The government, of course, is hardly prevented from doing anything by a local regulation. This is well illustrated by the case of the handball hall being built in Ferencváros, which will be much higher than allowed in the district by crossing the local building regulations. And once they cross it, why not take a big step. As in the case of the MOL headquarters on the other side of the Danube. Although the government banned the construction of tower blocks higher than 90 meters in 2018, as an exceptional procedure, it granted MOL a permit to build a 120-meter skyscraper at the Kopaszi Dam at the same time as promulgating the legislation. Ups.
Source: Népszava by nepszava.hu.
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