EU’s Top Political Group Is Now Closer to Ejecting Orban’s Party

The European Union’s biggest political group is inching toward tightening the rules that govern its membership, making it easier to expel parties that fall short of fundamental freedoms and values.

If approved, the new rules would represent a step closer toward the expulsion of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz from the European People’s Party.

Orban has become a headache for the EPP after a decade of power consolidation that saw him extend his influence over the courts and the media and cut the autonomy of independent institutions. The group suspended Fidesz in 2019 but efforts to oust the party have so far fallen short.

The EPP is weighing a proposal that could see a member or party excluded if the decision is backed by a two third majority, according to a person familiar with draft plans.

A taskforce working on the proposals had initially suggested a lower bar but German, Italian and French delegates asked for it to be raised, the person said.

Under the draft proposals, the members or delegations whose exclusion is being voted on are not entitled to vote.

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