The European People's Party (EPP) have just voted to suspend Fidesz, the Hungarian party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, from their pan-European party.
Ska Keller, Greens/EFA President and leading candidate of the European Greens for the European elections comments:
“EPP members have shied away from any clear decision. This suspension seems to be an attempt to buy time ahead of 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.”
Philippe Lamberts, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament comments:
“It's shameful to see that the EPP only got active when their own people were put on posters and not when Orbán forced a university to shut its doors, or newspapers were closed overnight, or when judges were replaced with party appointees. The vast majority of EPP considers that the autocratic behaviour of extreme right politicians are acceptable as long as they don’t attack their own political family.
"We will continue to fight against the Orbánisation of the European Union and support those standing up for fundamental rights and European values everywhere in the Union no matter which party is in power. The EPP and Manfred Weber need to decide where they stand: On the side of a party that tramples on media and academic freedom, campaigns against refugees and civil society or on the side of those who defend European values and the rule of law.”
Judith Sargentini, Greens/EFA MEP and author of the rule of law in Hungary report, comments:
“The European Council needs to urgently follow up on the rule of law in Hungary report adopted by the European Parliament last autumn. This is not only about party politics; this is about protecting rule of law and fundamental rights in an EU Member State. Other EU governments cannot continue to turn a blind eye to what's happening to democracy in Hungary; especially as the situation continues to deteriorate by the day.”