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Since Fidesz has been suspended from the EPP in March, the party was not invited to the European center-right party’s Congress in November. According to Fidesz MEP, Tamás Deutsch, he had already informed the People’s Party president in a letter that Fidesz would not attend the event. The politician also revealed that despite the original plan for the evaluation committee assessing the Hungarian governing party to release its report by October, the EPP has asked them to give their opinion only after the November Congress.

Viktor Orbán and Fidesz members will not be invited to the November Statutory Congress of the European People’s Party in Zagreb, leftist daily Népszava reported on Friday.  Later, news site azonnali.hu contacted Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch and asked him about the two-day meeting.

In response, the politician said that it was Fidesz themselves who decided not to attend the conference as observers, because they would not be able to vote due to the suspension, and highlighted the fact that the meeting would be open to the public anyway, thus anyone could listen to the important debates of the event.

Orbán on Fidesz EPP Membership: ‘We Will Decide in a Few Weeks’

Deutsch declared: he had already informed Joseph Daul, the People’s Party president, in a letter a week ago that Fidesz would not attend the congressional meeting.

According to EPP’s website, the meeting will focus on effective policies to combat climate change, on empowering the younger generations, and the Western Balkans. The Congress will also elect the members of the EPP Presidency, including the President, Vice-Presidents, Treasurer, and Secretary General.

Following the suspension of Fidesz, it was agreed that the EPP would appoint a three-member evaluation committee to determine whether the Hungarian governing party meets EPP’s conditions.

The Great Debate: Did the EPP Suspend Fidesz or Did Fidesz Suspend Itself?

The “council of wise men” is chaired by former Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy (Belgium) and its members will include former European Parliament President Hans-Gert Pöttering (Germany), and former Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel (Austria).

The Hungarian government has also formed its own three-member committee (Fidesz Vice-President Katalin Novák, Justice Minister Judit Varga, and Fidesz MEP József Szájer) in charge of negotiating with the evaluation committee.

Deutsch also revealed that the two “wise men” delegations have already met twice, and despite that the report was scheduled for October (so EPP members could vote on Fidesz), the leaders of the party family prolonged the process because they did not want Fidesz’s fate to distract them from other strategic issues such as the election of a new EPP president.

Orbán Sends Letter to EPP’s ‘Three Wise Men’ Evaluation Committee

The presidential election could bring interesting developments to Fidesz. EPP’s only presidential candidate is the Polish Donald Tusk, the outgoing President of the European Council. He is one of the greatest opponents of Orbán’s prominent European ally, Poland’s governing Law and Justice party. Thus, he is expected to be far tougher with Fidesz than the outgoing Joseph Daul was.

More interestingly, among the Hungarian ruling party alliance (Fidesz – KDNP), only Fidesz was suspended from the EPP, which means governing Christian Democrat party (KDNP) will participate in the November congress as a full member.

Featured photo by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI