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Fidesz’ EPP membership suspended

March 22nd, 2019

The leading pro-government daily as well as a left-wing pundit read the suspension of Fidesz membership in the EPP as a pragmatic deal that benefits both Fidesz and the EPP.

On Wednesday, the EPP Presidency and FIDESZ jointly agreed that FIDESZ suspends its membership in the party. The EPP has set up an evaluation committee to monitor whether Fidesz implements the three conditions set out by EPP lead candidate Manfred Weber (see BudaPost March 7).

In Magyar Nemzet, editor Attila Ballai thinks that the final say over Fidesz’ membership in the EPP will only be pronounced after the May European Parliamentary election. The pro-government commentator recalls that Magyar Nemzet has called on Fidesz to leave the EPP which, according to the pro-government daily, has abandoned its core Christian conservative and pro-national values. Ballai believes that after yesterday’s developments, there is still a chance that Fidesz will remain in the ranks of the EPP, but only if the EPP returns to its core ideology.

On 24.hu, Péter Pető interprets the membership suspension as a pragmatic deal between Fidesz and the EPP. The left-wing pundit takes the agreement as proof that Fidesz values its EPP membership, and also that the EPP wants to keep Fidesz within its ranks. In Pető’s view, the deal reflects the strategic power interests of the EPP and Fidesz rather than any agreement on core norms. He praises PM Orbán’s strategic instincts, noting that Fidesz can now wait until the European Parliamentary election, and decide on its membership in light of the EPP’s performance.

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