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Conflicting views on von der Leyen

July 19th, 2019

A left-wing analyst thinks that the new President of the European Commission will be PM Orbán’s staunch opponent, while a pro-government commentator believes she should keep Hungary’s merits
in mind.

In Népszava, Miklós Hargitai interprets the election of the top officials of the European Union as a clear defeat for PM Viktor Orbán. In a statement before the elections, the PM said all should be chosen from among anti-immigration personalities and the V4 countries should be allotted one of the leading positions. Neither of these two criteria have been fulfilled, Hargitai writes, and remarks that at the height of the migration crisis in 2015, Ursula von der Leyen hosted a Syrian family in her home to show her commitment. Otherwise, Ms von der Leyen wants to strengthen Europe’s borders but intends to promote a common immigration policy and thus represents the exact opposite of what Mr Orbán wants.

Magyar Hírlap’s, Mariann Őry is certain that not all decisions to be taken by the European Commission under von der Leyen will be welcomed by the Hungarian government. Nevertheless, the new Commission chief must feel obliged by the decisive support she has been given by Hungary and Poland, as well as by conservatives in general. Many liberal and socialist MEPs voted against her candidacy. The Hungarian government expects her to support the protection of Europe’s outer borders, recognise Hungary’s efforts, respect the Visegrád 4 and the region in general, and appreciate the performance of Hungary’s economy, rather than punishing her. If she does so, she will gain reliable allies; if she does not, she will gain tough opponents, Őry writes.

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