The European People's Party has temporarily suspended membership of the party of Hungarian right-wing Fidesz. Its president Orban praised the decision and assured the support of the PPE Weber group leader.
The European People's Party has decided to suspend the Hungarian Fidesz. Fidesz's membership of the EPP is suspended immediately and without an end date, EPP President Joseph Daul said. 190 delegates voted in favor of freezing, three against.
A commission of experts under the leadership of the former EU Council leader, Herman Van Rompuy, will now decide when and if the membership rights of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban will be restored.
However, the exclusion of Fidesz from the point of view of PPE Group leader Manfred Weber despite the suspension is still an option. The "is not off the table, it is on the table," said the CSU vice president. It will take time to rebuild the trust between the EPP and the Fidesz party.
Orban ensures Weber's support
Orban was satisfied with the decision. "The EPP has made a good decision because it has maintained unity", said Fidesz president. Your party would voluntarily leave cooperation to all EPP bodies, provided that one appointed by the EPP Judiciary Council would review the situation in Hungary.
At the same time, the right-wing politician reiterated that his party will continue to support Weber's candidacy for the post of President of the European Commission.
The last change also soothes Orban
Before the vote, Orban had obtained that the proposal of the EPP leadership had changed again in its spirit. The new version stated that the EPP Office and Fidesz had agreed that Fidesz would suspend its membership until the end of the report.
Previously, the proposal had stated that Fidesz would be suspended without his own voice, but would have voluntarily renounced his voting rights and would not have participated in party events.
Kramp-Karrenbauer is satisfied
The leader of the CDU, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, welcomed the decision. "This blocking of members gives Fidesz the chance to completely dispel the ongoing doubts about whether the party will share the common values of the EPP and, on this basis, will allow for future confident cooperation," he said.
According to her, the decision means that Fidesz no longer has the right to attend meetings, to vote, to present staff proposals and to present motions. At the same time it will be assured "that Fidesz cannot influence the political course of the EPP up to this clarification," the head of the CDU said.
Because of the anti-Brussels campaign in criticism
Critics accuse Orban of weakening democracy and the rule of law in Hungary for years, silencing critical media and weakening the opposition through reprisals as arbitrary fines.
Orban was also recently with his anti-Brussels campaign in criticism. His government launched a poster campaign in February against US billionaire George Soros and EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, also a member of the EPP. Budapest accuses them of wanting to force the EU countries to take refugees and weaken the protection of national borders.
Orban had called the EPP politicians "useful idiots". Thirteen of the 51 national members who are members of the EPP have therefore asked for the expulsion or suspension of Fidesz's registration.