Poland’s ruling conservative party has invited Hungary’s Fidesz party to join their European Parliament coalition after Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s decision to withdraw Fidesz from the European People’s Party (EPP).
Former Polish deputy minister of defense Bartosz Kownacki, a member of Poland’s Law and Justice Party (PiS), believes that the move by Orbán was forced by the EPP “shifting so far left” that Fidesz had to leave.Kownacki said the Hungarian prime minister could not accept the“ideological mediocrity” from the EPP, which led to the departure.
“The issue resolves around the fact that Hungary wants to develop and wants Fidesz to rule, but the European Union does not want such a thing,” Kownacki explained.
He is also of the opinion that Fidesz’s departure from the EPP is former Polish Prime Minister and EPP President Donald Tusk’s fault because he did not possess the necessary negotiation abilities to keep the Hungarians in the party of which he is the leader. Kownacki added, however, that most likely no one was truly counting on any serious negotiation ability from Tusk.
Other PiS politicians have been encouraging Fidesz to join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) fraction, of which PiS itself is a member in the European Parliament.
Former Polish Foreign Minister and current MEP Witold Waszczykowski pointed out that because the EPP has stopped being a Christian-democratic party and turned into a more liberal-left party, Fidesz could not remain in the party if it wanted to stay conservative.
“I personally believe that a place should be found for Fidesz in the ECR, as well as for Matteo Salvini who has joined the Italian government,” Waszczykowski said. He added that the presence of both Fidesz and Salvini in the ECR would help establish a much larger faction within the European Parliament.
Waszczykowski admitted that while he did not know whether Fidesz would accept such an invitation, he assured that PiS has good contacts with the Hungarian party.
PiS MEP Ryszard Czarnecki also counts on Fidesz joining the ECR. He emphasized that the ECR is a natural and obvious political family to which Fidesz should have joined long ago.
“We have contacts with Fidesz not only on the Kaczyński-Orban or Morawiecki-Orban levels, but also as PiS MEPs we have very good relations with Fidesz ones. There is also the close cooperation of different Polish and Hungarian social movements. I think, to quote Margaret Thatcher, ‘there is no alternative’. Fidesz joins the ECR for the good of the Europe of fatherlands,” he said.
The direct reason for Fidesz leaving the EPP in the European Parliament was the acceptance of new rules drafted during the party’s meeting. These changes permit the imposition of sanctions such as removing not only particular MEPs, but also an entire party.
Fidesz accused the EPP of trying to mute and disable Hungary’s democratically elected MEPs while hundreds of thousands of Europeans are being hospitalized and fighting for their lives due to the pandemic.