Pressure mounts on Orban in the EPP

Already nine member organisations of the European People’s Party have supported the exclusion of Viktor Orban’s Fidesz from the party family.

By Friday evening, the latest conservative party to join the growing list was the New Democracy from Greece.

The parties who have already announced that they support the initiative to expel Fidesz are the Flemish Christian Democrats (CD&V), the Walloon Humanist Democratic Center party (cdH), the Christian Social People’s Party of Luxembourg, Portugal’s CDS-People’s Party, the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) of Netherlands, the Moderate Party and the Christian Democrats (KD) of Sweden and the National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) of Finland.

According to the EPP’s Statues, “the suspension and the exclusion of a member may only be decided by the Political Assembly,” which meets on March 20 in Brussels, before the summit of the European Council. “A proposal for the exclusion of a member may only be submitted by the Presidency, or seven Ordinary or Associated Member Parties from five different countries”.

Manfred Weber, the group leader and Spitzenkandidat of the EPP told Der Spiegel on Friday that “all options are on the table”. “With his comments and his poster campaign, Viktor Orban has seriously damaged the EPP,” he said, adding that he expects Hungary’s prime minister “to apologise and end the campaign”.

In an interview with public television on Friday, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto was asked about the developments. Szijjarto said the EPP was not immune to disagreements on the issue of migration, pointing out that debates within the group on whether Europe’s demographic challenges and labour shortages should be resolved through immigration dated back to 2011. Hungary had already said back then that immigration was not the solution, but the debate has now intensified, he said, arguing that at stake in the upcoming European parliamentary elections was whether the EP would be controlled by a pro-migration or anti-migration majority.

Source: Hungary Journal, MTI
Photo: MTI

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