The European People’s Party (EPP) will not change course and has made clear that those wishing to belong to the party family are expected to endorse its values, Manfred Weber, the EPP’s group leader in the European Parliament, said on Tuesday, in reaction to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s remarks on his Fidesz party’s membership.
Speaking at a press conference last Thursday, Orbán said Fidesz was not interested in the EPP in its current form, and a change was needed within the party family. “The EPP is shrinking and losing influence, positions and seats because it is heading in the wrong direction, a liberal, Socialist, centrist direction,” Orbán said.
Weber, at a press conference on the sidelines of the EP’s plenary session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, said the Fidesz MEPs sitting in the EPP are “reliable” and contribute to the work of the grouping. Regarding Orbán’s call for change, he said the EPP will not change its direction but will “watch the developments of the coming days carefully to see if there are any positive changes”.
Noting the EPP’s 40 percent support in last year’s European parliamentary elections, Weber said the EPP did not require “lecturing in politics or the elections”. “Our guidelines and values are clear,” he said.
Featured photo illustration by Szilárd Koszticsák/MTI