Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has confirmed that he has been in talks with Italian and Polish MEPs to discuss the creation of a brand-new party group within the European Union. Citing a lack of representation of Fidesz’s values within the European Parliament, Orbán believes it is time for a new “political current” to be felt in Europe. European People’s Party chairman and former ally of Orbán Manfred Weber has criticized the potential creation of what he calls a “right wing populist party,” warning that such an event would divide Europe between radical extremes.
After Fidesz’s split from the European People’s Party, it was assumed that Hungarian MEPs would move over to a different party group within the European Parliament. Another potential idea in circulation was that Fidesz would form a completely new party within the European Union.
Last Friday Prime Minister Viktor Orbán confirmed that he had been in talks with Polish and Italian MEPs regarding the creation of a new EP party group.
Orbán: Fidesz’s Values Not Represented in EP
Orbán confirmed Fidesz’s split from the EPP as well, saying that while European prime ministers are struggling against the coronavirus, those inside the “Brussels bubble,” are creating regulations in order to make life difficult for member parties.
Regarding values, Orbán said there should be an emphasis on Christian traditions, national sovereignty, and the relevance of nationhood in Europe. He believes that migrants should not be allowed in, and that the continent should not be a place of multiculturalism.
These opinions, the Hungarian prime minister believes, do not receive enough weight in the European Parliament, and that the creation of his suggested “political current” would prove to be a major force in Europe.
Italy, Poland, and Hungary to Form New EP Group
Matteo Salvini, leader of the Lega Nord, stated that he has been in talks with Polish, Hungarian, and other countries’ representatives, saying that they “are working to create something new, because a certain type of Europe, with an outdated mindset, is unable to respond to emergencies, to the needs of 2021.”
There have previously been suggestions that Salvini’s party would join the EPP, but clearly this is no longer the case.
Viktor Orbán also confirmed that the representatives have been in talks, looking for solutions for “our kind of people,” who wish to defend their families “in cooperation with nation states, rather than the European empire.”
Weber Says Right Wing Will Polarize Europe
Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, said Fidesz has strayed away from the Christian democratic values of the European People’s Party, and no longer stands on the same foundations as it did when it joined the party group.
The EPP Group chairman’s statements about the new EP party in question were much harsher than his statement’s on Fidesz leaving the EPP. Weber said that “right wing populists” want to split the right from the political center, and are working to create separations in European society.
In the Welt am Sonntag German newspaper, Weber said that Fidesz slammed the door on the EPP, and that Viktor Orbán’s lust for power involves the leadership of a right wing populist party in the European Union.
According to Weber, Orbán’s new friends, Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, and the Alternative for Germany “dream of a Europe consisting of a first and second class.” He said these parties look for enemies, want to polarize the right and the left political wings, incite hatred, and in doing so strengthen the left, in order to give their foe a stronger image.
In opposition to this, Weber said Christian democrats are “the defenders of shared European-Western values,” who oppose “nationalist egoism,” and strive for the cooperation of European societies.
Whether Orbán and Salvini’s new EP party group will become a reality is not yet confirmed, and the actual impact the new party would have on European society is also unclear. Thus, Manfred Weber’s warning of a divided Europe is, for now, just a warning.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI