Hungary’s Orban threatens to pull his party out of EPP in European Parliament

Photo: EPA

Hungary’s PM Viktor Orban has threatened to withdraw the ruling party Fidesz from the conservative European People's Party bloc in the European Parliament, dpa reported, citing his letter published on Sunday.

Orban wrote to Manfred Weber, the German politician who heads the conservative EPP bloc, saying Fidesz would leave if the group decided to change its regulations as its leaders proposed on Friday. Fidesz vice chair Katalin Novak published the letter on Twitter.

Orban is also head of the right-wing nationalist Fidesz. The proposed changes would allow the group to be suspended or excluded from the EPP bloc, with only a 50% majority vote in some cases.

The EPP parliamentary group, which also includes German Fidesz's membership of the EPP has been suspended since 2018 because of Orban's eurosceptic policies. This does not apply to the EPP group in the European Parliament, to which the Fidesz MEPs still belong.

That could change after Wednesday's vote, when the group decides whether to revise its internal regulations.The suspension could follow in the weeks ahead, if Fidesz does not withdraw first.Amending the rules of procedure would lead to the "legally questionable suspension of our elected deputies in the EPP group," Orban wrote to Weber. "If Fidesz is not welcome, then we do not feel obliged to remain in the group," he noted.

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