Ruling Fidesz said on Monday that German MPs believe Fidesz’s place is in the European People’s Party (EPP).
Heads of the Hungarian-German friendly division of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) group in the Bundestag have “expressed their firm belief” that Fidesz’s place was in the EPP, the party said in a statement.
Axel Eduard Fischer and Volkmar Klein have been in Budapest on an informal visit initiated by Fidesz, meeting head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyas, deputy Fidesz leader in charge of foreign affairs Katalin Novak, and chairman of the Civic Hungary Foundation, Zoltan Balog. Novak said at the meeting that in Germany CDU and CSU were Fidesz’s allies, which made it important to maintain relations and dialogue.
The German MPs are also scheduled to hold talks with House Speaker Laszlo Kover and lawmakers Zsolt Nemeth and Csaba Hende. Additionally, they will participate in a conference organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Civic Hungary Foundation focusing on Hungary-German relations at Andrassy University.
The German friendly division of the CDU-CSU group includes some forty members.
Stoiber: Hungary’s place ‘at centre of reunited Europe’
Hungary’s place is at the centre of a reunited Europe, Edmund Stoiber, the former Bavarian state premier, said in an interview to German daily Die Welt.
“Hungary from the very start had a place at the centre of a reunited Europe,” he said. Stoiber, who is also honorary president of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), said Markus Soder, Bavaria’s current state premier, and Manfred Weber, the CSU leader and head of the European People’s Party (EPP) EP group, had expressed their approval of the Hungarian high state honour that Stoiber received recently. Bavaria and Hungary, he noted in the interview published online on Monday, have traditionally enjoyed close economic and cultural ties.
On the topic of the ruling Fidesz party and its place in the EPP — including Weber’s EPP quest to become European Commission president that was not backed by Fidesz — Stoiber said there had been tensions and damage done, “but you can’t get stuck; life goes on.”
Asked whether presenting Soder’s greetings to Orban during his visit to Budapest heralded a new beginning, he said further discussions would take place between the Bavarian and Hungarian leaders. Soder, he added, saw historically close Bavarian-Hungarian relations as a vital asset. “What happened has happened, but this is not an obstacle to looking ahead,” Stoiber said, adding that Weber was ready to work with everyone, including Orban.
Meanwhile, Stoiber said deepening cooperation between Germany and the Visegrad Group would be indispensable, especially in light of Germany’s key role in backing these countries’ EU accession. The Visegrad countries as economic partners, he said, were “much more important to us … than France, the United States or China”.