Viktor Orbán agrees to amend anti-CEU law after threat from European People’s Party

Hungary intends to adhere to every request made by the European Commission, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán confirmed on Saturday, in what was a reportedly heated, tense meeting with the European People’s Party, of which Fidesz is a member.  The EPP had reportedly raised the possibility of suspending Fidesz membership in the conservative parliamentary group if Mr. Orbán does not amend the anti-CEU legislation and does not halt his anti-EU rhetoric. According to the EPP, Mr. Orbán is prepared to amend the recently passed legislation, and especially the impossibly tight timeline–all of which he and his regime has staunchly defended–in order to ensure that Central European University is not required to close its doors and leave Hungary. The EPP, after meeting with Mr. Orbán, noted:

“Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán was summoned to the Presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP) this morning to explain the latest developments related to the Hungarian Higher Education Act and the national consultation “Let’s stop Brussels” (…)  Following the Commission’s assessment and the outcome of the EPP’s exchange with the Hungarian civic society and representatives of the academic community, we have come to the conclusion that dialogue alone is not enough. After an open and frank conversation with Prime Minister Orbán during the EPP Presidency meeting this morning, EPP asked Fidesz and the Hungarian authorities to take all necessary steps to comply with the Commission’s request. Prime Minister Orban has reassured the EPP that Hungary will act accordingly.”

EPP logo

In addition to the regime’s outrageous legislation around CEU, the EPP added that it can no longer tolerate the Orbán government’s apoplectic anti-EU rhetoric:

“The EPP has also made it clear to our Hungarian partners that the blatant anti-EU rhetoric of the ‘Let’s stop Brussels’ consultation is unacceptable. The constant attacks on Europe, which Fidesz has launched for years, have reached a level we can not tolerate. This consultation has been deeply misleading. The European Union was founded by visionary representatives of the EPP, and our convictions are deeply pro-European. We do not have to remind Viktor Orbán, of all people, that decisions in Brussels are taken collectively by European governments, including his Hungarian government, and by the European Parliament, which includes representatives of the Hungarian people.”


The Canadian government’s response to HFP

Meanwhile, Hungarian Free Press turned to Global Affairs Canada, the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for comment on the anti-CEU bill, especially in light of a recent article appearing here by András Göllner, which was critical of years of silence on the part of Canada vis-a-vis Hungary–a silence that has continued under the current Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“The Foreign Minister has personally raised Canada’s concerns, directly with her Hungarian counterpart. Canada, through our embassy in Budapest, remains actively engaged with the Government of Hungary, the CEU, and international partners.‎ We are closely following the situation,” noted Austin Jean, Spokesperson at Global Affairs Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *