Despite major differences, the Hungarian Prime Minister’s right-wing party is still part of the EU parliamentary group of the European People’s Party, along with the CDU and CSU. This could now change.
Budapest (AP) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban threatens to resign members of his Fidesz party from the parliamentary group of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament.
This move will inevitably take place if the EPP Group adopts the amendment to its Rules of Procedure, as proposed by the group’s leaders last Friday. Orban wrote in a letter to EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber (CSU), which Fidesz Vice Chairman Katalin Novak published on Twitter on Sunday.
Orban is also chairman of the right-wing national Fidesz party. The proposed amendment to the Rules of Procedure is intended to suspend or remove entire groups from the group. Under certain conditions, this requires only a majority of more than 50 percent of the votes cast.
The conservative EPP of the party family, which also includes the CDU and CSU, has been struggling with the Hungarian member party for years. Fidesz’s EPP membership was suspended in 2019 – in part due to alleged violations of EU fundamental values and verbal attacks on then-head of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker. The Fidesz MEPs still belong to the group in the European Parliament.
That could change as a result of the proposed amendment to the Rules of Procedure. The group will vote on the amendment next Wednesday. The suspension could apply in the coming weeks – if not preceded by the departure of the Fidesz group.
The amendment to the Rules of Procedure would lead to “the legally questionable suspension of our elected MEPs from the EPP group,” Orban wrote in a letter to Weber. “If Fidesz is not welcome, we don’t feel obliged to stay in the group.”
The Fidesz critics in the group are against it: “We will not be blackmailed!”, Austrian MP Othmar Karas said on Sunday. “I will not give up credibly positioning the EPP Group as the guardian of values and legislation, even internally.” The Rules of Procedure will be amended on Wednesday as scheduled.
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