Following the election of Donald Tusk as the President of the European People’s Party, many expect the situation between EPP and Fidesz to soon come to a resolution. According to several press reports, a final decision can be expected in early February, as EPP’s ‘wise men’ committee, responsible for evaluating Fidesz, has already finished the report on the Hungarian governing party. Meanwhile, Politico writes that Viktor Orbán is seriously considering leaving the party family, which seems a likely possibility in the light of recent statements by Fidesz politicians and opinion leaders.
According to Hungarian leftist daily Népszava, the recommendation of the “wise men” committee responsible to evaluate Fidesz’s regard for EPP values and the rule of law, is already on “Tusk’s desk.” The EPP is likely to decide the fate of Fidesz during the upcoming political assembly in early February, they stated.
Anonymous sources with a clear view on the EPP’s affairs told the paper that the newly elected People’s Party president had already begun talks with member parties, and rumors in the German press indicate he may soon be meeting with Viktor Orbán as well.
The outcome of these meetings is yet to be seen. It is unlikely that Fidesz will return to the European party without consequences. Instead, two possibilities could occur: the EPP could either extend the suspension or postpone the decision by a few months. Excluding Fidesz is also an improbable outcome.
Some political analysts believe that Fidesz may be leaving the party, but would remain in the party group; as this compromise might still be acceptable to the Hungarian prime minister.
But there’s another option: Fidesz leaving the party family by itself. This scenario isn’t out of left field, considering the several recent news and statements by leading Fidesz politicians.
Viktor Orbán is seriously considering leaving the European People’s Party, Politico reported on Friday, citing a senior Fidesz member. In the meantime, the party’s leadership is thinking about joining Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party in the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group if Fidesz is offered a leading role in the ECR.
In a recent interview with leftist atv.hu, Hungary’s head of the Prime Minister’s Office Gergely Gulyás said Fidesz’s staying or leaving the party family is a watershed for the EPP. Leaving the EPP would be the “beginning of the end” for the European party and the “beginning of something new for Fidesz,” Gulyás said.
On Saturday, Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch told daily Magyar Nemzet that Fidesz will decide itself which European party group it wishes to belong to in the future. “A decision will not be made about Fidesz, rather the decision will be made by the party itself,” Deutsch emphasized.
Speaking on pro-government news channel HírTV, the head of the pro-government think tank Századvég, Gábor G. Fodor outright said Fidesz would not remain a member of the European People’s Party in the future, however, referring to one of his conversations with Zsolt Semjén, president of the smaller governing party KDNP, he also said the Christian democrats would stay in the EPP. This could easily lead to some interesting situations in the European Parliament.