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PM’s Cabinet Chief: Fidesz to Stay in EPP until ‘It Turns Pro-Migration Overall’

MTI-Hungary Today 2019.03.18.

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party considers it worth remaining a member of the European People’s Party (EPP) as long as it stays clear from identifying fully with a pro-migration policy, the prime minister’s cabinet chief told public Kossuth radio’s morning programme on Sunday.

“Fidesz must fight for Europe’s renewal as a member of EPP, as long as there is a chance within that party group to elect new leaders who will be able to halt migration and protect Europe’s borders and Christian culture,” Antal Rogán said in an interview.

March 15: Orbán Calls for Fight to Protect Europe’s Christian Culture

The upcoming European parliamentary elections will give a chance to achieve this goal after a series of failures suffered by the bloc under the leadership of European Commission President Jean Claude-Juncker over the past five years, Rogán said.

He stressed the need to have an open debate over the question whether or not Europe “wants migrants”.

Orbán Apologizes for “Offensive Language” to Save EPP Membership, but Cements Political Position

Rogán said there were many EPP members counting on the votes of the European pro-migration left to have group leader Manfred Weber, EPP’s spitzenkandidat in the EP elections, elected as European Commission president. But statements by these politicians often fail to reflect the original position of the party, he said. A major part of the EPP opposes the pro-migrant views of some of its other members and the European left as a whole including the Greens and the Liberals, Rogán added.

In the weeks to come the Hungarian government will focus on its family support measures which, however, does not imply a change in the prime minister’s policy concerning migration, he said.

Within the EPP or Outside, Fidesz’s Prospects in the European Parliament

Viktor Orbán will maintain its proposals for returning border protection from the scope of the European Commission to the individual EU nation states, assigning decisions on migration and border protection to a new council composed of EU Schengen country interior ministers and having Brussels to reimburse half of the border protection costs covered by EU member states, Rogán said. He added that

Until these proposals are wiped off altogether, Fidesz will stay within the EPP”

Rogán called it “surprising” that the issue of the Central European University (CEU) is considered more important by Brussels than by the US government, which could conclude over the past weeks that the university’s operation in Budapest was ensured.

Weber’s Ultimatum: Will Orbán’s Govt Fulfill It?

The Hungarian government is, however, ready to study proposals that do not require amending Hungarian laws and might be joined by other governments, too, the PM’s cabinet chief said.

On the featured photo: Antal Rogán. Photo by Noémi Bruzák/MTI