European Parliament: Orban’s Fidesz party leaves EPP Group

Status: 03.03.2021 11:44 a.m.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Orban has been fighting with the Christian Democratic party family for years. Now he has announced that his Fidesz party is leaving the EPP Group – and has thus anticipated a suspension.

The twelve MEPs of the Hungarian Fidesz party are leaving the parliamentary group of the Christian Democratic European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament. This was announced by the Hungarian Prime Minister and Fidesz Chairman Viktor Orban in a letter to EPP parliamentary group leader Manfred Weber (CSU). Fidesz Vice-Chair Katalin Novak published the letter on her Twitter account.

Immediately before that, the EPP Group had voted in an online meeting with the necessary majority for an amendment to the Rules of Procedure that would have made it possible to suspend Fidesz Group’s membership in the Group.

Orban had already threatened in a letter to Weber last Sunday that the Fidesz MPs would be withdrawn from the group if the group should approve the change in the rules of procedure. With the resignation of the Fidesz MPs, Orban anticipated a vote on the suspension of the Fidesz group, which would probably soon have been put on the agenda.

There was arguments for years

The end of Fidesz’s membership in the EPP parliamentary group marks the end of the year-long dispute between the right-wing nationalist Orban and the European Christian Democrats, to which the CDU and CSU also belong.

At party level, Fidesz’s membership in the EPP has been suspended since 2019, among other things because of alleged violations of EU fundamental values ​​and verbal attacks against the then EU Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker.

Change to the right-wing national EKR is conceivable

The Fidesz MPs continued to belong to the group until they left the group. The break that has now taken place also means a turning point for EPP parliamentary group leader Weber, who tried to mediate for a long time, but finally got into sharp conflict with Orban.

A change in the Fidesz MPs to the right-wing national EKR or to the even further right-hand group ID in parliament would be conceivable. Both would strengthen the right. The EPP would remain the strongest group.

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