Tusk urges EPP to expel Orban's Fidesz party

Foreign ministers of 13 Member States expressed concern about extraordinary measures

Former EU president and current EPP head Donald Tusk has urged the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest party in the European Parliament, to expel Viktor Orban's Fidesz from its ranks, news wires reported. He made the plea after Hungarian parliament passed a highly controversial coronavirus law, allowing Orban to rule by decree indefinitely.

In a letter to EPP members, Tusk accused Orban of "making use of the pandemic to build a state of permanent emergency", something he said was "morally unacceptable". The EPP has been divided over how to act in the face of persistent breach of EU principles over several years. The party suspended Fidesz in the run-up to the European Parliament elections last year after a row over anti-EU posters. 

Orban has been widely accused of using the virus to further dismantle democratic mechanisms in Hungary. The Commission is set to discuss Hungary's emergency law later today.

Separately, the foreign ministers of 13 Member States - Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, issued a joint statement expressing concern about extraordinary measures taken in some countries in Europe, without naming them.

Here comes the whole statement:

“In this unprecedented situation, it is legitimate that Member States adopt extraordinary measures to protect their citizens and overcome the crisis. We are however deeply concerned about the risk of violations of the principles of rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights arising from the adoption of certain emergency measures.

Emergency measures should be limited to what is strictly necessary, should be proportionate and temporary in nature, subject to regular scrutiny, and respect the aforementioned principles and international law obligations. They should not restrict the freedom of expression or the freedom of the press.

We need to jointly overcome this crisis and to jointly uphold our European principles and values on this path. We therefore support the European Commission initiative to monitor the emergency measures and their application to ensure the fundamental values of the Union are upheld, and invite the General Affairs Council to take up the matter when appropriate.”

Similar articles

  • EU dismisses risks from AstraZeneca jabs

    EU dismisses risks from AstraZeneca jabs

    The medicine regulator of the EU (EMA) announced that it could not confirm fears that women and young adults were at a higher risk of rare blood clots with low platelets after vaccination with AstraZeneca's Covid-19 jab. Limitations in the way the data was collected meant that EMA could not identify any specific risk factor that made the condition, thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), more likely, Reuters reported.

    127
  • Mediterranean countries discuss climate change, migration

    Mediterranean countries discuss climate change, migration

    Nine European Mediterranean countries held a summit in Athens on Friday afternoon to discuss issues ranging from climate change to migration and Afghanistan, news wires reported. The one-day gathering, dubbed the EUMED 9, brings together the leaders of Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Cyprus, Slovenia and Croatia. Commission head Ursula von der Leyen will also attend the meeting.

    126
  • Optimism about the future of the EU on the rise

    Optimism about the future of the EU on the rise

    It reached its highest level since 2009, trust at its highest since 2008

    Attitudes towards the EU remain positive and broadly stable, according to the latest Standard Eurobarometer conducted in June-July, the EU press service reported. While optimism about the future of the EU reached its highest level since 2009, trust in the EU remains at its highest since 2008, and support for the euro remains stable at its highest since 2004.

    85