Hungary’s Fidesz suspends membership from EPP

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The ruling party of Hungary’s right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban opted to be suspended from the European People’s Party before being forcefully expelled.

The largest political grouping in the European Parliament voted on the future of Fidesz yesterday, with 190 in favour of the suspension and three against.

This comes after the Fidesz leader has been accused of fuelling hatred with anti-immigration campaigns, interfering with judicial independence and clamping down on the media by his opponents.

Mr Orban said: “The EPP made a good decision because it maintained unity. We made a good decision, as no roads were closed.

“After the elections, Fidesz and the EPP can both decide freely about our relationship.

“We will now campaign for the victory of the EPP. After the elections, we will have to see how we will position ourselves,” he said.

EEP leader Manfred Weber said Fidesz will no longer be able to vote on issues or join major group meetings until an independent commission had completed a review of the state of the rule of law in Hungary.

“The EPP was very clear and united that the suspension is needed. It was a very hard decision,” Mr Weber said.

Mr Orban however does not intent to change his policies. “We are committed to a strong European Union and we can’t imagine any change in issue of migration.

“Neither can we imagine a compromise in the protection of European Christianity, of Christian values and culture,” he said.

The Hungarian government last week ended a campaign targeting European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who is also part of the EPP, accusing him of promoting migration policies that fundamentally threaten the country’s security. 

Mr Orban sent letters apologising for describing as “useful idiots” those in the EPP advocating for his party’s expulsion. He said he meant to criticise the policies and not the politicians.

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