The party of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has stepped out of the Christian Democratic Group from the European Parliament. It hasn‘t been between the Fidesz and the members of the group for years.
Today, 84 per cent of the European People’s Party (EPP) decided to amend the party rules. It is now possible to remove a whole party from the fraction and no longer one person. According to Orbán, this is a direct attack on his party and voters, and that is why he is leaving the group.
“ It is undemocratic, unfair and unacceptable,” writes Orbán in a letter to EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber.
According to Esther de Lange, MEP for the CDA and member of the PPE, Fidesz‘s departure was inevitable. “Following the amendment of the internal rules, making it possible to suspend an entire delegation in the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, it became clear to Orbán what consequences this would have for him.”
According to De Lange, the CDA has constantly insisted on the departure of Fidesz. “Unfortunately, Orbán has drifted miles away from these core values in recent years and has crossed a moral boundary over and over again.”
In 2000, the Hungarian party was welcomed with open arms by the PPE. Orbán was known as a man who had actively opposed the communist regime. But after a few years, more and more conflicts arose with other group members. Orbán was increasingly seen as the enfant terrible of the party.
For example, he silenced critics by exercising more and more control over media and justice. In 2015, then President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, greeted Orbán, smiling with “dictator” at a meeting in Latvia. The Hungarian got a soft blow to the cheek.
More and more quarrel
Over the past few years, the relations continued to acidify and 2019 Fidesz was already suspended from the umbrella party. But the Hungarian party remained in the group of the European Parliament. Until today. Fidesz holds the honour to himself and gets out before the faction sends the party away.
In that letter to today‘s chairman of the Group of the European People’s Party, Orbán says that his party will remain in the European Parliament. But the Hungarian Prime Minister is not concrete. For example, Fidesz can operate an independent party in the European Parliament. But this has the disadvantage that the party loses a lot of political influence.
Orbán can also choose to join another group. For example, with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), where the Dutch parties SGP and JA21 are currently affiliated to this. If Orbán wants to do so, he will also have to say goodbye to the EPP umbrella party, and he has not yet done so.