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EPP to prolong Fidesz’s limbo status

January 30th, 2020

A right-wing analyst thinks that unless the European People’s Party ‘finds its way back to its conservative Christian roots’, Fidesz will have to quit.

EPP chairman Donald Tusk told leaders of member parties that there is currently no majority to end Fidesz membership. Fidesz suspended its membership voluntarily amid bitter controversy in March last year (see BudaPost March 22, 2019). A committee of three “wise men” has submitted a report to the European People’s Party on Fidesz compliance with the norms and values of the party alliance and the EPP Assembly is expected to discuss the issue on Monday next week.

In Magyar Nemzet, Miklós Szánthó finds the European People’s Party guilty of gradually moving towards liberal positions over the past thirty years, with one unsuccessful attempt in 1992 to ‘find its way home’. Even when Fidesz joined in 2000, he writes, the party programme was conservative. EPP statements underlined the priority of community interests and condemned reckless neoliberalism.  Since then, its views on values like national sovereignty and the family have taken a liberal turn, he believes. Nevertheless, there are still defenders of traditional Christian conservatism within the group who feel that Fidesz, as Szánthó puts it, is ‘the conscience’ of the EPP. In an aside, he remarks that all those member parties which are demanding that Fidesz be expelled have official LGBT sections. He expresses the wish that the Peoples Party will finds its way back home, as its 1992 programme recommended. If it doesn’t, Szánthó concludes, it will be ‘the end for the People’s Party and the beginning of something new for Fidesz’.

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