Ten conservative allies demand Fidesz be expelled from European People’s Party

Ten member parties of the conservative European People’s Party are formally demanding that Fidesz, which is presently running a negative ad campaign against fellow Christian Democrat President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and Brussels, be expelled from the European Parliament’s largest faction. At least seven parties from five EU member states must agree to have a member party expelled from the group for the EPP to begin considering the request. As of Monday, parties from Belgium, Bulgaria, Finland, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Sweden have submitted their demand for Fidesz’s explusion and this topic is expected to appear on the agenda of the EPP’s next general meeting, scheduled for 20 March.

Fidesz politician and European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics commented on Monday that he faces a conundrum. After all, Mr. Navracsics, a key member of Fidesz, draws a salary from his role as a European Commissioner, sitting on the same Commission that his home party continues to lambaste as being part of a worldwide conspiracy led by George Soros. As a result of the most recent anti-EU campaign, Mr. Navracsics told hvg.hu that he is caught in the crossfire.

Describing his relationship with his fellow commissioners, Mr. Navracsics said: “They see me as the person from that country and from that party.” He no longer feel that he is in a position to be able to serve as mediator between the two sides. “I see no chance of this,” he added.

Mr. Navarcsics’s term as commissioner expires this year and the Orbán government has already determined that it will delegate someone else. It’s fair to say that Mr. Navracsics was among the more moderate voices in Fidesz–but certainly a moderate who proved unwilling to take a principled stand. History is unlikely to remember him fondly.

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