EPP: Prime Minister Orbán to comply with EU laws and EPP values following meeting with EPP Presidency
Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán was summoned to the Presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP) this morning to explain the latest developments related to the Hungarian Higher Education Law and the national consultation ‘Let’s stop Brussels’. Following the meeting, EPP President Joseph Daul made the following statement:
“The EPP has always used dialogue as the best way to communicate with its member parties and to overcome differences. Throughout these past weeks, the EPP has maintained open lines of communication with the Fidesz leadership, but has also relied on the Commission to ensure that Member States comply with EU treaties. Following the Commission’s assessment and the outcome of the EPP’s exchange with Hungarian civil society and representatives from academia, we have come to the conclusion that dialogue alone is not enough.
After an open and frank conversation with Prime Minister Orbán during the EPP Presidency meeting this morning, the EPP demanded from Fidesz and from the Hungarian authorities that they take all necessary steps to comply with the Commission’s request. Prime Minister Orbán has reassured the EPP that Hungary will act accordingly.
The EPP Presidency sent a clear message to Prime Minister Orbán and to his member party, Fidesz, that we will not accept that any basic freedoms are restricted or that the rule of law is disregarded. This includes academic freedom and the autonomy of universities. The EPP wants the CEU to remain open, the deadlines suspended and dialogue with the US to begin.
The EPP believes that NGOs are an integral component of any healthy democracy, that they represent civil society and that they must be respected.
The EPP has also made clear to our Hungarian partners that the blatant anti-EU rhetoric of the ‘Let’s stop Brussels’ consultation is unacceptable. The constant attacks on Europe, which Fidesz has launched for years, have reached a level we cannot tolerate. This consultation has been deeply misleading. The European Union was founded by visionary representatives of the EPP, and our convictions are deeply pro-European. We do not need to remind Viktor Orbán, of all people, that decisions in Brussels are taken collectively by European governments, including his Hungarian government, and by the European Parliament, which includes representatives of the Hungarian people.