Hungarian Press Roundup: PM Orbán’s Memorandum to EPP
Hungary Today 2020.02.21.
A pro-government columnist welcomes Prime Minister Orbán’s call on the European People’s Party to return to its Christian conservative roots. A left-wing analyst thinks that PM Orbán is testing the EPP and using the opportunity to prove that he has become an important player on the European political field.
Background information: in a memorandum to the European People’s Party on Wednesday, Prime Minister Orbán called for a reform of the EPP. PM Orbán lamented what he called the abandonment of the EPP’s Christian conservative ideology. According to Viktor Orbán, the EPP has embraced ‘Marxist egalitarian’ values, and become a supporter of gay marriage as well as unfettered migration. This ideological shift, PM Orbán wrote, has created rifts within the EPP. In order to overcome such cleavages, which weaken the EPP, PM Orbán calls for a debate on the EPP’s strategic path and proposes that the party group seek alliances with right wing parties as well, not just left-wing ones. Katalin Novák, Minister of State for Family, Youth and International Affairs said that Fidesz expects an answer from the EPP to the Prime Minister’s memorandum, adding that if the EPP does not agree with the strategy outlined by PM Orbán, Fidesz may look for new partners outside the EPP.
Magyar Nemzet’s Ferenc Kis says that unless the EPP accommodates PM Orbán’s suggestions, Fidesz may quit the European People’s Party. The pro-government analyst agrees with Viktor Orbán that the EPP has abandoned its Christian conservative values, and replaced them with liberal, green and Socialist ones. Kis welcomes what he calls PM Orbán’s courage, to openly call on the EPP to ‘return to normality and the values of its founders’. He adds that Orbán is becoming an increasingly influential player on the international political field.
In an interview with the left-wing Klubrádió, Dániel Hegedűs, analyst of the German Marshall Fund interprets the memorandum as an effort by PM Orbán to find out if he can find enough allies in the EPP to form a new ‘radical right-wing alliance’. Hegedűs also thinks that the Prime Minister wants to prove to Hungarian voters that he has become a mayor political player in Europe.