Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz spoke about the Article 7 procedure against Hungary and Fidesz’s place in the European People’s Party (EPP) to Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.
According to Kurz, the fact that the European Parliament has adopted Judith Sargentini’s report about the rule of law in Hungary is no judgment or proof against Hungary, but rather a chance to start a dialogue and investigate the concerns.
One day before the the EP adopted the report, Kurz said that his party, the ÖVP will support the document in the European Parliament. He said that it’s a normal consequence that Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party can be expelled from the EPP if the procedure is started against the country. A week later he said that the procedure is the start of a dialogue between Hungary and the European Commission and it doesn’t influence Fidesz’s EPP membership.
Now, speaking to FAS, Kurz warned against expelling Fidesz. “I don’t believe it would make sense to create another new party of Eastern Europeans, who are unevenly matched when it comes to morals,” he explained. Instead, he said, “it’s the right thing to have a close look, to prevent undesirable developments,” adding that “the members of a party family can informally exert influence on each other whenever that’s necessary.”