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Fidesz quits EPP group

March 5th, 2021

Pro-government columnists in unison welcome the Fidesz decision to quit the EPP Parliamentary group. Left-wing commentators, on the other hand, predict that Fidesz will lose much of its influence in the EU.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Orbán announced that Fidesz MEPs would leave the European People’s Party’s Parliamentary group, after the EPP approved a set of new internal regulations (see BudaPost March 3). Fidesz politicians, however, noted that Fidesz will only discuss later if they will also leave the EPP as a party.

Magyar Nemzet’s Zsolt Bayer finds the Fidesz departure a cause for celebration. As the pro-government pundit sees it, the EPP has accommodated liberal and left-wing values, rather than defending the European values inherent in traditional identities and national sentiment. He believes that in times of existential crises, ‘normal people, conservatives, Christians, nationalists, anti-globalists and national left-wing parties have to cooperate’ to stop globalization, progressive gender ideology, migration and the ‘Soros plan’ supported by mainstream left-wingers, liberals and even the EPP.

On Pesti Srácok, Tamás Pilhál agrees that it was ‘good riddance’ for Fidesz to quit the EPP group. The pro-government blogger suggests that the EPP has exchanged national, Christian and conservative values for ‘extremist liberal and communist international’ ideas. Pilhál hopes that Fidesz will soon join one of the ‘real conservative Parliamentary groups that stand for the nations of Europe’. He adds that if patriotic parties cannot gain momentum, the ‘internationalist fools’ of the left will destroy the EU – which Pilhál would also welcome.

Népszava’s Tamás Rónay thinks that Fidesz will lose much of its international influence, as it is very unlikely that the Hungarian governing party could help create an ‘anti-immigration, populist, ultra-Conservative’ group that rivals the EPP in power. Rónay recalls that ‘right-wing radicals’ including the French National Front, Matteo Salvini’s Northern League, Geert Wilders’s PVV, the German AfD and other smaller populist parties have so far failed to create a strong alliance. Rónay also suggests that Prime Minister Orbán is becoming increasingly isolated not only within the EU, but also in the region, as Slovakia and the Czech Republic show only lukewarm interest in following Poland and Hungary’s path.

On 24.hu, Zsolt Kerner sees the Fidesz decision to leave the EPP as ‘an ugly defeat for Viktor Orbán’. The left-wing commentator thinks that Fidesz did everything to remain in the EPP group and thus increase its influence on the European scene, although what he defines as Prime Minister Orbán’s ‘populist and radical right-wing’ vision did not fit the moderate views within the EPP. The departure of Fidesz weakens the EPP, he adds, but at the same time, they can show more unity without the presence of Prime Minister Orbán in their ranks.

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