In an internal meeting, the European People’s Party (EPP) agreed to suspend Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party after a series of violations against its values.

Reacting to the announcement, the European Green Party co-leading candidate, Greens/EFA co-president Ska Keller said:

“The EPP members have shied away from any clear decision. This suspension seems to be an attempt to buy over the elections. But that won’t work. The defence of rule of law and European democratic values cannot be compromised through political tricks. Manfred Weber loses credibility as a candidate for the European Commission Presidency so long as he continues to protect Fidesz. The Commission and especially its President are the guardians of the treaty so any candidate for the job needs to be clear on where she or he stands.”

“The decision to suspend Fidesz demonstrates a complete lack of political courage.  It will solve little and was only devised to avoid decisive action.  For many years now, EPP has preferred to play down Orbán’s transgressions against European core values or to look the other way time and time again. Redlines have been drawn and abandoned regularly.  Obviously, EPP has been more concerned with keeping Fidesz on board because of the votes they bring. If Weber is to stand a chance of becoming the next Commission President, he must come clean on whether he chooses to side with those who uphold European values and the rule of law or those who seek to promote a nationalistic and illiberal agenda,” said the European Green Party co-leading candidate, MEP Bas Eickhout.