While the European People’s Party Group in the European Parliament was once again discussing how to deal with Fidesz MEPs, the S&D Group was hearing the first-hand account of how Orbán and his government are harassing free media in Hungary. It is time for conservatives to stop enabling the damaging actions of illiberal governments in the EU and we hope they will accept including Slovenia in the debate about media freedom in the next plenary session.
Iratxe García said:
“Fidesz should have been kicked out years ago. Instead, the EPP Group sat by and watched while Orbán’s anti-democratic government attacked European citizens’ freedoms again and again. This morning, the S&D Group spoke to András Arató, CEO of Klubrádió, the last independent news radio station in Hungary, forced to stop broadcasting publicly following years of free media being dismantled in Hungary. While we were speaking to Klubrádió, Fidesz MEPs resigned from the EPP Group. But instead of being expelled, they were given the chance to resign.
By failing to act, the EPP Group has also allowed others to copy Orbán and we see his policies now being spread to other member states. With worrying developments in both Slovenia and in Bulgaria, I sincerely hope they do not repeat the same mistake again.”
Csaba Molnár MEP (DK), Head of the Hungarian Delegation, said:
“At last, the loser of Europe is forced to leave the European People's Party. After many twists and turns, Orbán and his party are where they belong: the political no-man's land of Europe. They can explain this in any way they like. Just like last time, when during the “self-suspension” saga they argued “we were not excluded, we left”, the result is the same. Orbán has now lost many battles in Europe and has become the loser of Europe, who can only shout but, in the end, always loses. The European Union is dealing with the likes of Orbán and we need to do the same in the in Hungary.”
István Ujhelyi MEP (MSZP), said:
“Fidesz has left the EPP Group. It is great news for those who believe in a united EU and a huge strategic defeat for Orbán. From now on, they are going to sit together in opposition with radicals. With this, their ability to set the agenda will be zero. This doesn't mean that Hungary and Hungarian interests will be sidelined too. We will make absolutely sure that Hungarian citizens, through the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, have a strong voice in the European Parliament. We will work over the coming months to make sure that Hungarians have the pro-European, democratic government they deserve.”