The leaders of Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic will meet in Budapest on July 13 to discuss candidates for top jobs in the European Union to ensure the representation of the Eastern Europe, and in a sign of regional coordination by the Visegrad Four #V4. (Image above: Victor Orban and Jean-Claude Juncker, archive)
EU member states are in process of selection of new top executives of the European Commission, the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Central Bank.
The leader of Germany’s conservatives made clear she expected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party would quit Europe’s main center-right group –European People’s Party (EPP) – after he withdrew support for Manfred Weber (pictured) – the bloc’s candidate to head the European Commission.
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, signaled that the anti-immigrant, hard-right Orban had crossed a river.
“With his behavior in the last few days and the meeting with (Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini), he has given a clear sign that he will leave,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. At present Fidesz is suspended from EPP as a result of disagreement on various policies.
“Weber would have been good for us as president of the commission,” Orban said, “but he made the statement that not only does he not need the Hungarian votes but he doesn’t even want the Hungarian votes to become commission president.”
In March Weber told German broadcaster ZDF that he “would not accept the post” of Commission president if he had to depend on votes from Fidesz, Orban‘s party.
“That is such an offense to Hungary and the Hungarian voters,” Orban added.
Orban said he could no longer support Manfred Weber after he “insulted” Hungarians.
This morning, Hungarian Minister Gergely Gulyás (pictured) made it clear that the pro-immigration political parties in the European Parliament will stop at nothing to push their ideological agenda. In an information note on the Article 7 procedure Minister described their action as a ‘political accusation disguised as rule of law concerns’.
“As a result of a political decision, there is an ongoing political procedure against Hungary, despite the many attempts to disguise them as rule-of-law concerns.” said Gergely Gulyás, Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office, at a press conference this morning,
“The European Parliament takes positions on matters, which don’t belong under the European Union’s competence” he added. “We believe that the accusation stating there is a systemic threat to rule-of-law in Hungary is completely absurd,” Gulyás concluded. “… The European Parliament’s adoption of the decision is not valid, and we are challenging it in the European Court of Justice“.
On Monday, November 12 the Council of the European Union will assess the Sargentini Report, examining the European Parliament’s recommendation to pursue an Article 7 procedure against Hungary based on the MEP Judith Sargentini research findings. Since its publication, the Report was criticized by the Hungarian government, pointing at its highly subjective vision, and a deliberate omittance and distortion of reality.
Earlier this month at the Congress of the European People’s party in Helsinki Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban warned about the risks illegal mass migration imposition on sovereign nations represents for the future of the European project.
“We regret the decision the Austrian government has taken. We continue to believe that migration is a global challenge where only global solutions and global responsibility-sharing will bring results” a Commission spokesperson said at press-briefing in Berlaymont, while commenting on Austria’s abstention from UN migration Global Compact signature.
Previously the Austrian government said it will not sign a global pact to promote safe and orderly migration.
It cited concerns of national sovereignty while joining neighboring Hungary refusing the concept of migration as a “human right”
“We have decided that we will not join the pact,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said to Austrian public broadcaster ÖRF. . The step is one of the measures of coalition government in harnessing the illegal immigration, keeping electoral promise made by both conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) and Freedom Party (FPÖ) sharing responsibilities in the government.
Austria will not send an envoy to the pact’s signing in December in Morocco, mainstream media reported.
“We will, therefore, abstain in the vote at the UN General Assembly in the year 2019,” Kurz added.
So far only the European Parliament leader of ALDE group Guy Verhofstadt gave openly negative assessment of the Austrian government’s decision, pointing at alliance between Chancellor and Hungary‘s Prime minister Victor Orban, which ‘undermines common work” to find a solution for illegal migration, wrote MEP in his micro blog.
Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini called EU sanctions against Hungary “madness”, ANSA News agency reports.
“I am convinced that in a few months’ time we’ll find ourselves governing Europe together with Viktor Orban”, Salvini said, while addressing a press conference with Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz Christian Strache.
“…The sanctions against the Hungarian government and people are a political act, a madness by that leftwing Europe that is not resigned to change”. Salvini and Orban recently declared each other “heroes” while meeting in Milan.
Orban’s Fidesz party and Salvini’s Euoskeptic League are expected to be among the parties who will strengthen their power in the European Parliament elections on 23-26 May next year.
Orban, who won a third consecutive term in power this year, has been conducting a consequent policy of border protection, causing an argument with the EU leaders over his country’s stance on illegal immigration policies and for the pressure on democratic institutions — including civic organizations, the media and academic centre while Orban consolidated power – accusations he vehemently denied, blaming EU lack of objective vision, based on individual trips of the rapporteur MEP Judith Sargentini to Hungary. No EU fact-finding mission has been send to Hungary so far.
Orban underlined that Hungary did not change, being loyal to European values, and protecting borders thus protecting citizens from traffic of illegal migrants. Ensuring security of its citizens is a prime obligation of a state his government conducted upon the democratic mandate, and in line with the EU laws.
MEP Judith Sargentini report adopted by European Parliament:
The European Union parliament’s decision to start a punitive procedure against Hungary is the “petty revenge” of pro-immigration politicians against Hungary, Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto said, commenting on the outcome of the vote.
Government spokesman, Zoltan Kovacs, said Hungary will continue to oppose the EU and UN concept on migration, because illegal mass-migration and its consequences cause major problems for his country.
Kovacs reminded Hungary’s position that migration must be stopped at the EU’s borders and that it is certainly not beneficial to Hungary as Brussels insists.
“Migration is very expensive and integration or assimilation — as it is referred to in Western Europe — is impossible”, Kovacs said at Hungary’s embassy in London this week.