Co-founder of a research center convicted of data manipulation invited to an EP Committee meeting, without revealing his key founding role within the institute

2021. 02. 24.

The co-founder of the dubious Budapest-based Corruption Research Center presented the findings of his latest research at a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT). Fidesz MEP Ádám Kósa questioned the invitee about his CV, sent earlier to the Committee and contained surprising shortcomings.

According to his CV, Mr Mihály Fazekas is currently teaching at the Central European University (CEU). At the same time he is the scientific coordinator of the DIGIWHIST program, an initiative supported by the European Commission by a subsidy worth 3 million euros. He is also investigating the corruption situation in Bangladesh with a 1 million dollar research grant funded by the World Bank. On the other hand, Mr Fazekas omitted to disclose from his professional CV sent to the Committee that he was a co-founder of the Corruption Research Center.

That Budapest-based organization, that was convicted in 2019 by a judgment of the Capital Regional Court of Appeal in a lawsuit initiated by the Public Procurement Authority. According to the judgment, the research center damaged the Authority’s reputation and used manipulated data in its publications.

At the committee meeting, MEP Kósa asked Mr Fazekas what the reason was for omitting from his CV the fact that he was a co-founder of the institution. In his reply, Mr Fazekas, who considered transparency to be particularly important, confirmed that he was indeed the founder of the convicted institution, but didn’t give any explanation as to why he did not mention this piece of his career in his detailed professional CV.

Another co-founder of the Corruption Research Center is Mr István János Tóth, who previously helped and advised the Momentum Movement in their political actions launched against the Budapest Olympics candidacy. This may give explanation as to why Momentum MEP Katalin Cseh did not see any limitations in the veracity of Mr Fazekas’s CV.