EPP To Debate Expulsion Of Hungary's Fidesz On 20 March

  • 7 Mar 2019 6:46 AM
  • Budapest Business Journal
EPP To Debate Expulsion Of Hungary's Fidesz On 20 March
The European Peopleʼs Party (EPP), the group of conservative and Christian Democrat parties in the European Parliament which includes Hungaryʼs governing Fidesz, will start talks on the latterʼs possible suspension or expulsion, after 12 member parties from nine countries requested action, according to multiple reports.

Current affairs website hvg.hu reported that the main reason behind the outrage among Fideszʼs fellow EPP members was the nature of its newest taxpayer-funded political ad campaign, displaying Hungarian-born investor George Soros - long the principal target of Hungarian government propaganda - side by side with European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker (whose party is also an EPP member), implying the two are in cahoots.

Under the banner headline “You too have the right to know what Brussels is planning!”, the ads - as well as a letter posted to all citizens by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán - allege that Brussels is trying to force Hungary to accept migrants, among other claims which the European Commission refuted in detail last week.

“The European Commission agrees, citizens do deserve to know the truth about what the EU is doing,” wrote the EC. “But we believe they deserve fact not fiction.

The Hungarian government campaign distorts the truth and seeks to paint a dark picture of a secret plot to drive more migration to Europe. The truth is that there is no conspiracy.”

Hvg.hu notes that while the 12 EPP parties, derided by Orbán as “useful idiots” for the left, have managed to pressure the grouping into starting the process, whether Fidesz will actually face any consequences will depend largely on the stance of Germanyʼs CDU.

Fundamental Shift

EPP President Joseph Daul had no other choice than to start the procedure, as EPP rules require such measures if the number of parties calling for suspension or expulsion reaches seven, from five different countries.

Orbán crossed a “red line” when his government targeted Juncker in the “impermissible” campaign, Daul was cited as saying by politico.eu, the European edition of U.S. news organization Politico reporting on the EU.

“There has been a fundamental shift in dealing with Orbán. Enough is enough. That is our message,” politico.eu reported EPP parliamentary group leader Manfred Weber as saying.

The website observed that the loss of Orbán’s Fidesz would likely cost the EPP more than a dozen seats in the next Parliament, complicating the party’s effort to install Weber as the next Commission president.

Evicting Fidesz could also prompt Orbán to seek an alliance with other populists in Europe, possibly even giving them enough votes for a blocking minority in Parliament, it added.

According to Euractiv.com, a media platform focusing on European policymaking, the government of Hungary will end the controversial billboard campaign on March 15, but only in order to replace Juncker with EC First Vice-President Frans Timmermans.

The latter is the lead candidate of the rival Party of European Socialists for president of the Commission at this yearʼs European elections, and a strong critic of Fidesz in the past.


MTI Photo

  • How does this content make you feel?

XpatLoop Media Partner

Budapest Business Journal

Hungary's largest and oldest source of business and financial news in English. Since 1992 it has presented essential information on Hungarian business life, including international analyses about the country. These days the BBJ newspaper is published every other week, while it releases daily business news online including premium paid content.

Explore More Reports

  • Brussels Has Attacked Hungary, Says PM Orbán

    Brussels Has Attacked Hungary, Says PM Orbán

    • 26 Jul 2021 8:02 AM

    “Brussels has attacked Hungary,” Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said in his regular interview with public broadcaster Kossuth Radio on Friday, adding that this was why a referendum concerning child protection was necessary.

  • Special Report: Journalists & Critics of PM Orbán Targeted with Pegasus Cyberweapon

    Special Report: Journalists & Critics of PM Orbán Targeted with Pegasus Cyberweapon

    • 20 Jul 2021 11:06 AM

    Pegasus, the spyware manufactured by Israeli cybersecurity firm NSO Group has been in use in Hungary for years against targets such as investigative journalists and wealthy media owners as well as against people in their close circles, Direkt36 has found as part of an international team of investigative journalists, ‘The Pegasus Project’.