It is one of the unexpected side effects of coronavirus. The European People’s Party (EPP) is again considering the exclusion of Fidesz, a Hungarian party led by Prime Minister Viktor Orban. On Thursday, April 2, thirteen national parties of the European right wrote to its president, the Pole Donald Tusk, asking him to endorse the breakup.
Viktor Orban had the state of emergency voted on Monday 30 March without time limit, allowing him to govern by decree or demand the imprisonment of those accused of having broadcast “Fake news” on the Covid-19.
A divided camp
Since March 2019, Fidesz is already “Suspended” of the EPP. Seven parties (out of around 80) were then in favor of an expulsion, which Nea Demokratia in Greece or the Danish and Norwegian conservative parties are demanding again. But ” heavyweight “ of the EPP, like the Christian Democratic Union in Germany, Forza Italia and the Spanish People’s Party, have not joined the movement. Neither did the leader of the Republicans (LR) Christian Jacob.
The latter had received, on March 27, a missive signed Viktor Orban, in which the Prime Minister asked him to “Persuading Donald Tusk to stop sowing the seeds of division”. Between the former President of the European Council and Viktor Orban, nothing is right: Donald Tusk himself paved the way on 1er April, excluding Fidesz, by writing to member parties: “Many of you (…) have not agreed to expel the Fidesz from our political family. (…) But the time will soon come when you will have to reconsider your positions again. “
In the European Parliament, French MEPs continue to support Viktor Orban. Like LR MEP Anne Sander, for example, “This is not the time to argue, we must focus on fighting the virus. The EPP cannot afford the luxury of a political crisis now by pointing to the Fidesz. “ Other delegations, on the other hand, no longer know which way to dance: the cantor of the“Illiberalism” did he go too far this time? Or should we continue to play the party unity card?
A crisis in the crisis
“If until then, the EPP has been able to accommodate the actions of Viktor Orban, his anti-Semitic campaigns, his attacks against George Soros, etc., I doubt that things will be different today”, sighs Andrew Stoehlein, director of communications in Europe for the NGO Human Rights Watch. Viktor Orban, for his part, wrote to the Secretary General of the EPP on April 3, saying that he “Devote all his time to saving the lives of Hungarians” and that he “Has no time” for nothing else.
For Gerald Knaus, head of the think tank “European stability initiative” (ESI), “Viktor Orban makes fun of both the EPP and all European officials and draws his strength from their lack of courage and conviction.” 16 member states said in a statement “Concerned about the risk of violation of the rule of law (…) arising from certain emergency measures”, but never mention Hungary. The country was therefore able to associate itself with this declaration. A shame for Gerald Knaus, who sees it “Another unbearable snub for Europe”.