Should Orbán's Fidesz stay in the EPP?
The Hungarian governing party Fidesz's membership of the EPP has been suspended for about a year now. According to party circles, an evaluation committee has now ruled that it should remain suspended unless Orbán makes concessions. Orbán himself is now threatening to leave the EPP. Hungary's media argue over whether a break with parliamentary group would be a curse or a blessing for the party.
PM doesn't have much to lose, but Hungary does
It's understandable that the EPP is struggling with this decision, Népszava writes:
“The EPP leadership must bear in mind that if it keeps Fidesz as a member it will create a permanent source of tension, since this decision would be a clear political victory for Viktor Orbán and hence reinforce his policies to date. ... And even if Fidesz is excluded, the Hungarian leader can still come out on top. In that case he could argue that the EPP no longer allows the truth to be told about migration and Soros. ... Orbán would win while Hungary would lose, as its potential influence [in an outsider EP parliamentary group] would be considerably diminished.”
Fidesz must head out on its own path
Fidesz should sever its ties with the EPP and found a new parliamentary group, the pro-government daily Mandiner advises:
“That would fit in well with Viktor Orbán's clout in foreign affairs, which has become increasingly prominent in recent years. It would be possible to persuade other parties to leave the EPP and call for a new alliance of right-wing parties which until now have been doing politics in other parliamentary groups or as non-aligned members. Membership of a new party family - founded by a governing party - would impress many. ... This alliance would not be the strongest or second-strongest formation in parliament right now. But its existence alone would send a message to many that there are also those who don't back down and don't give up the fight.”