SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: CEU has emerged as an unlikely subject in a dispute that has swirled around Orban’s anti-immigrant stance and anti-EU campaigns and which has prompted 13 of the European People’s Party 80 member parties to ask for Fidesz to be expelled.

For nearly three decades it has been a gateway to the West for thousands of students from ex-communist eastern Europe, offering U.S.-accredited degree programs in an academic climate that celebrates free thought.

In December, the university, founded by Hungarian-born U.S. liberal philanthropist and Orban nemesis George Soros, said it had been forced out of Hungary.

The leader of the EPP Manfred Weber spoke about the idea of helping CEU using the network of the Technical University of Munich during talks with Orban on Tuesday to try to resolve their differences.

“We are looking for a new perspective,” Weber told journalists in Budapest after the talks. “I’m sure that such a model can overcome today’s problem that American diplomas cannot be offered today at the (CEU).”