The Nordic Council of Ministers has decided that it will no longer provide funding to European Humanities University (EHU). The decision is a result of the Council of Ministers’ budget restructuring to free up funds for co-operation on the integration of refugees and immigrants this year. The integration programme will be one of the Council of Ministers’ key international priorities in 2017. The decision to stop funding EHU is also based on the outcome of a process in which the role and strategy of the university has been up for discussion. Repeated internal divisions at EHU have also detracted from its activities in recent years.
Originally based in Minsk, Belarus, EHU was closed down by the authorities for refusing to do as it was told by the government. In an act designed to defend democratic principles, it reopened in Vilnius, Lithuania, with the help of the Nordic countries, the EU, USA and others. The Nordic Council of Ministers has been one of the biggest donors since 2008. At the request of the EU, the Nordic Council of Ministers has also played a key role as facilitator of the Trust Fund, which administers and allocates financial support from the various donors.
Over the years, the Nordic Council of Ministers has played a vital role in EHU on several occasions, and its prolonged commitment to the university is considered to have been highly successful.