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Mar 20, 2019 - Zoltán Kovács

PM Orbán: Today we made a good decision together to remain unified

Prime Minister Orbán said that the EPP, together with Fidesz, made a good decision, one that allows Europe’s strongest party alliance to wage a unified campaign behind Manfred Weber.

EPP

As one of the strongest parties in the EPP, one that has won four elections based on the will of the people, Fidesz is not a party that could be expelled or suspended. “During the negotiations today, I held in my right hand an official letter addressed to Joseph Daul about Fidesz’ departure from the EPP” if the text proved to be one that we could not accept, PM Orbán said.

But ultimately, common sense prevailed and they found an acceptable solution, and the PM said, “we ourselves voted for it.”

On the outcome of today’s negotiations, Prime Minister Orbán said that in order for the EPP to preserve its unity, Fidesz has decided to freeze its membership in the People’s Party and they will employ the “Austrian playbook” from the year 2000. According to the procedure, a committee composed of “three wise men” will review matters concerning Fidesz and submit a report on their findings to the EPP leadership at some date after the elections. 

“And on the basis of that document,” the PM continued, “we can make decisions about EPP’s future and the relationship between Fidesz and the EPP.”

The debate that took place, he said, was essentially about the EPP’s future. The liberal wing of the People’s Party, 13 member parties, attempted to expel from the party one of the strongest forces in the conservative, Christian Democratic wing of the party. They wanted to change the character of the EPP. They failed. Unity prevailed. 

“We want the EPP to remain the strongest party in European politics and we would like to continue with a unified campaign,” PM Orbán said, adding that today, the EPP has managed to preserve unity, and therefore, we can run a unified campaign supporting Manfred Weber.

According to PM Orbán, even though we managed to preserve unity, he made it clear to EPP leaders that “we are still committed to a strong European Union, but we cannot compromise on migration and the protection of Christian culture.”

“But now, what’s first should come first: we will campaign for the European People’s Party’s victory,” PM Orbán said and added: “so that EPP will remain the most numerous, biggest and most powerful alliance in Europe.”