Hungary's ruling Fidesz to remain suspended from EPP

EPP President Donald Tusk

Hungary’s ruling Fidesz will remain suspended from the European People’s Party, the EU’s conservative umbrella group's leader Donald Tusk said on Wednesday. The EPP suspended last March the party of Hungary's right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban in a row over issues such as democratic freedoms and the rule of law.

Tusk, who was elected EPP president late last year, met earlier this month with three envoys who had visited Hungary to assess the situation. “I have received an oral report from the evaluation committee with the conclusion that there has not been sufficient progress in Budapest. Therefore I will not propose to vote or even discuss Fidesz,” Tusk told the EPP’s European Parliament group.

Orban has several times threatened to leave the EPP, saying it has lost touch with conservative voters and demanding a return to a tougher stance on issues like migration and cultural identity.

Tusk himself admitted that there was no majority in the EPP for expelling the Orban's party. “We will continue the suspension as long as the situation is as it is... I don’t intend to start my presidency by revolution or large divisions, but I won’t compromise about values. How can one even do that? We must find a practical solution”, Tusk said.

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