The EPP is not welcoming Jobbik

Hungary’s strongest opposition party Jobbik wants to take ruling Fidesz’s place in the European People’s Party (EPP), but apparently their chances are not too high.

Speaking of his party’s future after the European elections in 2019, Jobbik chairman Tamas Sneider told Azonnali.hu on Tuesday that their goal is to join the EPP and “there are signs that it’s not completely impossible”. He added that Fidesz faces many criticism, and it’s not sure at all that they can remain part of the party family.

Hungarian daily Magyar Hirlap asked the EPP group’s press chief, Pedro López de Pablo, who said

“I don’t know what they are smoking, but it seems really effective so even if it’s illegal, they should commercialise it because they would be more successful than in politics”.

Jobbik’s MEPs are independent, and even though there were speculations in the press that they might join Marine Le Pen’s group, both Jobbik’s and the ENF groups’s leadership declared that they don’t want to cooperate.

Since 2013, Jobbik has gone through a serious process of “purification” with the leadership of its former president, Gabor Vona. It’s a serious ambition of the right-ring conservative party to get closer to the EPP in EU politics. For today’s Jobbik no other party family can be an option in the EU.

Regarding Fidesz’s membership, Prime Minister Viktor Orban explained at the 29th Balvanyos Summer University in Baile Tusnad (Tusnadfurdo) last Saturday, that loyalty was important and Fidesz wanted to contest the European parliamentary elections as part of the European People’s Party. He noted, however, that the EPP contained parties with views that were far apart and bridging them would be “extremely hard” to do. Fidesz represents the EPP’s Christian Democratic platform, he said, adding “we can be strong” by combining their forces together even at the cost of making internal compromises.

Last month, Slovenian MEP Milan Zver told Index.hu that even though many want to punish Orban the tension can be handled within the party family. He stressed that Fidesz won’t be expelled because “Orban is currently very strong, much stronger than for example four years ago”. Fidesz MEP Gyorgy Schopflin told Nepszava that it seems that Fidesz won’t be expelled but the situation can change overnight.

Hungary Journal
Photo: MTI

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