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Oct 18, 2018

Of the two candidates, Viktor Orbán supports the nomination of Manfred Weber, not Alexander Stubb

On Thursday Antal Rogán, the Minister heading the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister, told Hungarian news agency MTI that Fidesz and Prime Minister Orbán support the nomination of Manfred Weber, and not Alexander Stubb, as the so-called “Spitzenkandidat” from the European People’s Party (EPP).

Mr. Rogán noted that on Wednesday the Presidency of the EPP spoke to both candidates: former Finnish prime minister Alexander Stubb, who belongs to the EPP’s liberal wing; and Manfred Weber, Vice-President of the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU) and the EPP’s current parliamentary group leader in the European Parliament, who belongs to the EPP’s Christian democratic wing.

The Minister said that, on the basis of what was said at the session, if Mr. Orbán needs to choose between the two candidates, he will definitely support the Bavarian politician from the EPP’s Christian democratic wing, rather than Mr. Stubb, who belongs to the EPP’s liberal wing. He added that Fidesz will act accordingly at the EPP Congress in Helsinki in November, where the identity of the centre-right party family’s lead candidate will be decided.

Mr. Rogán also reported that a summit of European heads of state and government had begun after the EPP presidency’s session.

In addition to Brexit, the Minister said, the main topic of the summit meeting would be the European Commission’s pro-immigration proposal – the so-called “Dublin reform” – which would require nation states to transfer border protection duties to Frontex: the EU’s border and coast guard agency. Mr. Rogán said that in this event a European immigration agency would be formed, and Member States would be stripped of their right to decide who can and cannot receive refugee status.

He stated that preliminary negotiations have made it clear that 14 Member States are either inclined or determined to oppose the Commission’s pro-immigration proposal.