Tag Archives: Viktor Orban

Orban Fidesz party suspended from EPP

The center-right European People’s Party (EPP) has voted to suspend Hungary leading conservative party Fidesz, Joseph Daul (pictured)  group’s president announced.

The largest political “family” in the European Parliament, gathered in Brussels for an Assembly to decide upon the future relations with  Fidesz led by Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

The negative decision did not come as a surprise after a protracted period of arguments between Orbán and the leading EPP figures, clashing over the EU migration policy, and border controls. The EPP opponents continuously blamed Orban  for obstruction the EU migration and asylum policy, but also the issues of the judiciary and media independence. At September Plenary (2018) European Parliament adopted the so-called Sargentini Report, condemning the anti-democratic stance of Hungary’s leadership and initiating the procedure related to Article  7 (1) of the Treaty on the European Union.  

However Prime Minister Orban has not been receptive to criticism, on contrary he flaunted his alliances with Italy Matteo Salvini Lega party, and Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, resisting the EU migration concept.

In spite of a huge deal of criticism many of the EPP  party members  continued to demonstrate tolerance towards Orbán’s government, until the last straw dropped in the form of a poster campaign, accusing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker of promoting migration policies compromising Hungary’s security.

Fidesz party  made clear that  it would immediately abandon the EPP in case of suspension, Orban’s chief of staff said to the Hungarian media.

The posters ruining the relations between Orban and EPP depicted the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker as a puppet of the American billionaire – globalist George Soros, sponsoring uncontrolled immigration via his Open Society Foundation. There has also been consternation at the plight of the Soros-founded Central European University, which claimed it was being forced out of Budapest because of the Orbán government’s hostile stance.

“You have the right to know what Brussels is about to do!” 

“You have the right to know what Brussels is about to do!”

Thirteen constituting EPP parties called for a vote on Fidesz’s continuing membership, in the wake of the Juncker-Soros poster campaign.

Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberals in the European Parliament was unsatisfied with the EPP measures to discipline Fidesz: “EPP have lost the moral authority to lead Europe“, he wrote in his Twitter micro blog.

V4 declines EU attempts to reach informal deal on migration

Today in Brussels the leaders from 17 member states have attended an  informal Summit on Migration, while  Hungary’s Prime minister, Viktor Orbán, announced his country and three other Visegrad (V4) Four members would boycott the meeting. With the decision of V4 countries to deny EU their support in migrants relocation policy, the European crisis on the issue of illegal migration reached a new low.

Although the meeting is informal, without any press-conferences, trading barbs took place ahead of the event between Italy and France, while new Italian government was accusing French President Emmanuel Macron of “arrogance”.

The Italian government assessed France proposal on migration “out of reality”, including a suggestion to apply  financial sanctions on EU states that refuse migrants.

The Visegrad group decided not to attend the informal Summit called by president Juncker, because they “believe that it is not the Commission’s task to organise any summit for heads of government: that is the duty of the Council and the President of the Council”.

“We want to make it absolutely clear that the prime ministers of the four Visegrád states have agreed that they will not attend it (Informal Summit on Sunday – ed) because it would be improper to attend a meeting with a status which is unclear in terms of the European Union’s internal practices and rules. We shall therefore state our position on migration and other issues at the Brussels summit next Thursday” – Hungarian Prime Minister Orban said, explaining the position of V4.

“The future of a prosperous continent that will always be open for those in need,
but that will also deal with the challenge of migration together,
and not leave some to cope alone,” – Juncker wrote in a paper produced by the institution he leads for the occasion of migrants Summit.

Apparently the traditional President Juncker’s call for unity, solidarity and “more Europe” does not serve as a remedy for the mass-migration crisis, taking into consideration the situation in Southern Europe, where Italy alone receive more than half-a-million illegal migrants crossing Mediterranean with the help of NGOs vessels.

(Image: MSF courtesy).

 

 

 

Orban warns against “chaos” of hasty answers to migration

Ahead of the upcoming EU Summit on migration (28-29 June) Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orban expressed from behalf of the Visegrad group countries the understanding of the depth of the migrant crisis in a number of the EU member-states. However, he also expressed the reserve against any decisions taken “in haste“, warning against possible grave consequences of European “chaos“.

We understand that in some countries there are internal political difficulties, but this must not be allowed to lead to ill-considered haste at a European level: the European Union has a complex system of institutions, and acting in haste will lead to chaos”, – PM Orban said. 

The Visegrad group suggested to focus areas of cooperation, were agreement can be reached rather than on the dividing issues, leading to confrontation. Namely agree on two major areas: of border defence and hotspots. Orban returned to an ‘old proposal‘ to erect refugee camps outside the EU territory.

There is no point in forcing issues on which there is no agreement, such as migrant quotas, because that will never result in cooperation: it will only increase divisions and confrontation”Orban stated from behalf of V4.  “Therefore what we propose is that in the coming weeks and months we should solve the questions related to migration that we are able to solve: that we should place the emphasis on the points on which we agree“.

Tusk formally congratulates Orban

European Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on his election victory and said he counted on him to play a constructive role in maintaining the bloc’s unity.

Mr Orban was also congratulated by the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the biggest bloc in the European Parliament. Fidesz is a member of that group, despite the clashes of opinions. However, the Eurosceptics in the European Parliament pointed out it would be increasingly difficult for the EU to pursue open doors migration policy and relocation, after Orban’s sweeping victory.

Orban triumphant for third term

Hungarian incumbent Prime Minister Viktor Orban announced victory after preliminary results showed his party Hungarian Civic Alliance (Fidesz) is a big winner of the elections, receiving clear-cut two-thirds commanding majority in the parliament.

With more than 93% of the votes in Sunday’s poll counted, Orban‘s Fidesz party was in first with nearly half the vote, the National Election Office said.

The result is expected to hand Orban a third successive term in power.

Orban’s nearest rival was Gabor Vona, of Jobbik party, with 20%. The Socialists, led by Gergely Karacsony was third, with 12% of the vote.

Turnout stood at 68.80 percent, higher than the final turnout of 61.73 percent in the last election in 2014, which gave Orban a landslide victory.

“Dear friends, there’s a big battle behind us, we secured a historic victory – we got a chance, we created a chance for us to protect Hungary,” Orban said to cheering supporters in Budapest evening of the elections day.

 

ALDE-Five Stars: marriage of convenience?

 

sam_3768

Serge Turbin OPINION

The news from the European Parliament of The Five Star Movement (M5S, Italy) joining the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) puzzled many of Brussels pundits and experts. Moreover, the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC), ALDE’s youth wing, issued a statement condemning this move: “LYMEC understands the urge to grow the liberal group in the European Parliament; however, we do not believe this should be done at the expense of giving up on fundamental liberal values and principles. Accepting EU- and Euro-sceptic, populist 5 Star Movement would be to do so”.

An anti-establishment, anti-globalist and Eurosceptic Italian political party led by charismatic comedian Beppe Grillo, considers leaving the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group in the European Parliament and joining pro-federal European ALDE group. In an online voting, the M5S members approved the decision to depart from the group that the 17 M5S MEPs share with Nigel Farage’s UKIP. Now the ball is in the ALDE court, with executive committee of the ALDE bureau set to pronounce its verdict today.

ALDE assessment of the 7 conditions of Moviemento 5 Stelle: incompatible with our own pro-European political programme. To accept the party of Beppe Grillo in its ranks, would be to abandon the European project and the urgent reforms it desperately needs. It is impossible for any responsible, pro-European group to take the M5S on board”, – wrote Mr Verhofstadt on his Facebook page on the 11th of June 2014, commenting on EP elections results. Today, two and a half years later, ALDE’s assessment has dramatically reversed; and the post has been deleted, correspondingly.

The ALDE bureau is expected to give the green light to the controversial political merger that would propel ALDE to the third largest group in the legislature. Remarkable, this unexpected marriage of convenience is being orchestrated just days after ALDE group’s leader Guy Verhofstadt declared his bid for Parliament presidency. Being the leader of the third largest group in the Parliament may boost Mr Verhofstadt’s chances. And yet, it inflicts sustained damage in the long term, tarnishing Mr Verhofstadt’s personal integrity and ALDE’s institutional credibility.

The prospect of M5S entering ALDE has sent shockwaves among ALDE individual members, and become a central theme of their online debates – pushing their daily routine criticism of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin further apart. Emotionally, many Italian members have promised to terminate their party membership, cut their membership cards and disavowed their support for Mr Verhofstadt’s presidential bid.

Mr Verhofstadt has been well-known as a ferocious critic of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, EPP vice-president. With Beppe Grillo in the ALDE ranks, the liberal leader conveniently exposes himself to any potential EPP counter-attack.

Serge Turbin, Brussels, 9/01/2017