The European People’s Party (EPP), an umbrella organisation for conservative, Christian democratic parties in the European parliament, has launched a process to exclude Hungary’s Fidesz, the governing party of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
“Twelve EPP member parties from 9 countries have asked for the exclusion or suspension of Fidesz. This is the question that will be discussed at the political meeting on March 20th. The decision belongs to all members of the EPP and I can not anticipate the outcome of the discussion, ” said the party’s president, the French Joseph Daul.
The text continues: “They want to introduce the compulsory resettlement quota [of migrants], weaken the rights of Member States to defend their borders; facilitate immigration by means of a migrant visa.”
Orban went even further in an interview for the German newspaper Die Welt, attacking EPP members who demanded his expulsion from the political group, as “useful idiots” from the left. “The left does not attack Hungary as such, their goal is to weaken the EPP. If we are excluded, they will attack Italians and Austrians. They want to weaken the EPP at the European level, so that the Socialists and the left can take power,” said the Prime Minister.
Manfred Weber, the leader of EPP in the European Parliament, who is also in the race to be the next European Commission president said the Hungarian leader should apologise for insulting fellow EPP members, “My main message is that during the last few weeks Viktor Orban and the Fidesz party again crossed red lines,” Weber told journalists at a campaign event in Passau, Bavaria.
In a letter to the chairman of the EPP, Joseph Daul, Weber went into more detail.
“The repeated attacks on EPP leaders, the unwillingness to resolve open infringement procedures, and in recent days, the attacks against other EPP member parties severely damage the unity of our party,” Weber wrote.
If Orban pulled back on his rhetoric against against his colleagues it “would send a signal that it continues to be interested in being a member of the EPP”, Weber said.
But if he fails to correct his course, “the only option would be to exclude the party from the EPP”, Weber added.