Everything you need to know about the conflict between Fidesz and the European People’s Party

2019. március 22. 17:30

On Wednesday, the European People’s Party (EPP) held a meeting regarding the membership of its fourth strongest member party, Fidesz. The importance of this conference was paramount, considering the date of the elections to the European Parliament is closing in.
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According to the official standpoint of the EPP, a vote was called in order to sanction the information campaign in Hungary that depicted billionaire George Soros along with President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker.

But it is worth pointing out that the EPP’s outrage at the posters was no coincidence at all, especially when one takes it into account that Manfred Weber, lead candidate of the party demanded for Soros’ university to „stay” in Hungary – which of course was already fulfilled before Weber even announced his demands.

Besides Weber seems to have some issues regarding traditional conservative values. After all, EU Greens (a pro-immigration political force within the European Parliament) would love to work closely together with the EPP after the elections – on the condition that the EPP stops being „soft” on Viktor Orbán.

Fotó: MTVA – Médiaszolgáltatás-támogató és Vagyonkezelő Alap

Weber also reinforced his stance towards a pro-immigration agenda by claiming that anti-immigration political forces are „right-wing dummies”, adding that he is willing to cooperate with social-democrats, liberals and greens alike.

However, there is a problem: the intent to get rid of the Hungarian PM and his party would also potentially endanger Weber’s opportunity in becoming president of the European Commission. It is the candidate of the largest political group who earns this position – but without Fidesz, Weber risks losing 13 or 14 seats potentially.

Regarding the outcome of Wednesday’s negotiations, Orbán said that in order for the EPP to preserve its unity in the election campaign, Fidesz decided to freeze its membership in the People’s Party and they will accept the “Austrian playbook” from the year 2000. A committee composed of “three wise men” will review matters concerning Fidesz and submit a report on their findings to the EPP leadership at some date after the elections.

As the Hungarian PM said, the debate was essentially about the EPP’s future. The liberal wing of the People’s Party, 13 member parties, attempted to expel one of the strongest member in the conservative Christian Democratic wing of the party. They wanted to change the character of the EPP, but they failed. Unity prevailed.

We want the EPP to remain the strongest party in European politics and we would like to continue with a unified campaign”

Orbán declared.

The Hungarian PM also emphasized that there are subjects on which there can be no compromises:

we are still committed to a strong European Union, but we cannot compromise on migration and the protection of Christian culture.”

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