This contribution explores the legal scope of a concept that is indispensable to the existence of academia; the principle of academic freedom. More particular, this research addresses this concept within the European Union. Particular attention is paid to the recent milestone judgment of the CJEU in the case of European Commission v. Hungary. In this ruling, for the first time in its history the Court adjudicated on academic freedom. Both the scope the Court assigns to academic freedom and the innovative nature of its approach are examined. It is ascertained whether the Court has caused a change of direction. At the same time, an assessment of the possible impact of the ruling on the future of higher education in the European Union is provided. Bearing in mind the universal nature of the concept, a number of findings are also applicable beyond its borders.
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