Billionaire financier George Soros reportedly lobbied against Hungary’s candidate for EU commissioner but his efforts were unsuccessful, according to Hungarian national security sources.
During the process to confirm Olivér Várhelyi, Hungary’s commissioner candidate for the EU’s enlargement and neighborhood policy portfolio, Soros worked behind the scenes to squash Hungary’s candidate.
As a part of his efforts, Soros made a phone call to Daniela Schwarzer, director of the prestigious German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) and attempted to convince Schwarzer to speak with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in an attempt to end Várhelyi’s candidacy.
During the phone call, Soros said approving Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s candidate for the position would undermine the European Union’s entire enlargement policy due to Orbán’s too-close relationship with Russia and Turkey, with Soros reportedly saying Várhelyi would be detrimental to the EU’s interests.
According to the unnamed security sources, Schwarzer regularly speaks on the phone with Soros, whose Open Society Foundation is one of the sponsors of DGAF.
She was, however, surprised by the direct request to sway Merkel into rejecting Várhelyi, reportedly telling Soros that “it was not how things worked.”
Várhelyi’s candidacy was approved last week by the European Parliament’s (EP) foreign affairs committee with a two-thirds majority and he will become commissioner pending the EP vote this week on European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen’s whole new committee.
Title image: George Soros