Dutch Christian Democrats call for Orban’s Fidesz to be expelled from EPP group

Photo: DutchNews.nl

The Dutch Christian Democrats and fellow parties from Belgium and Luxembourg have again raised questions about the involvement of Hungarian president Viktor Orbán’s party in their group in the European parliament.

Orbán’s party Fidesz is part of the European Peoples Party grouping, alongside the CDA and a string of other conservative, mainly Christian parties.

Pressure on the EPP to act against Fidesz has been mounting for months and now the CDA and others have now written to EPP leader Joseph Daul asking him to expel Orbán’s party from the group.

‘For many years, he has been acting in striking contradiction to what we – together with the EPP – consider and defend as of crucial importance in the light of our Christian Democratic view on mad and society, and our ambitions relating to the ongoing unification of Europe,’ the letter states.

The involvement of Orbán’s party in the EPP is undermining the party’s commitment to ‘fighting nationalism-based populism and open hostility to European integration’, the letter says.

Nationalist Orbán, who won a third term in office in April last year, has a populist, anti-immigration and Eurosceptic message and has been criticised for his attacks on Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire George Soros.

Last year, the CDA voted at its annual conference to throw Fidesz  out of the EPP if it crosses ‘red lines’ – in other words, does not abide by European norms and values.

Sanctions

Last year, the European parliament agreed to take disciplinary action against Hungary on the basis of a report compiled by Dutch Green MP Judith Sargentini.

Parliament voted to take steps against Hungary over breaches of the EU’s core values, including attacks on the media, minorities and the judiciary.

More than two-thirds of MEPs backed the censure motion – the first such vote against a member state under EU rules.


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