Fidesz MEPs Quit EPP Group

MEPs of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party have quit the European People’s Party (EPP) group after it approved an amendment to the umbrella party’s rules at a group meeting.

The EPP group voted on Wednesday to change the group’s statutes to make it possible to suspend the membership of a whole group, not just individual MEP members, or to terminate membership collectively if the party group’s rules were seriously breached. Fidesz MEPs Kinga Gál and Tamás Deutsch said it was “unacceptable” that the EPP group had launched “hasty administrative manoeuvers” during the coronavirus epidemic that was “claiming the lives of thousands of European citizens every day, putting unprecedented pressure on our citizens and economies.” The Fidesz MEPs said they had stated their legal and political concerns on several occasions, but the final version of the amendment to the EPP statutes was still unsatisfactory. The change in rules that would allow a simple majority to oust a whole party group from the EPP group would prevent Fidesz MEPs from exercising their parliamentary rights, they added. The Fidesz MEPs said the democratic will of almost 2 million Hungarians who backed Fidesz in the European elections “must be respected fully”.

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