Hungary’s Orban Finalizes Divorce From EU’s Biggest Party

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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s Fidesz party withdrew from the European Union’s biggest political group, finalizing a break that has thrust the nationalist leader out of the continent’s mainstream.

The resignation letter, posted on Fidesz Vice President Katalin Novak’s Twitter account on Thursday, pre-empted the ouster of the Hungarian ruling party from the center-right European People’s Party.

It came two weeks after the EPP moved to suspend Fidesz lawmakers from its European Parliament caucus, prompting the Hungarian delegation to quit from the assembly group.

Orban has since vowed to build a new platform for parties more aligned with his nationalist vision. But the exit may reduce his influence in the EU after the EPP had largely shielded and legitimized his decade-long power consolidation in Hungary.

The EU is preparing to deploy a new rule-of-law mechanism against members seen as flouting the bloc’s democratic standards, threatening funding cuts for violators for the first time.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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