Orban to Build Own Group After Leaving Center-Right EU Caucus

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Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban set out to build his own political force across the European Union after a decade-long row over democratic values led to the his party’s exit from the center-right group in in the bloc’s parliament.

“Our task is clear,” Orban said in a statement. “Now – without the EPP – we must build a European democratic right that offers a home to European citizens who do not want migrants, who do not want multiculturalism, who have not descended into LGBTQ lunacy, who defend Europe’s Christian traditions, who respect the sovereignty of nations, and who see their nations not as part of their past, but as part of their future.”

The European People’s Party has been the longtime home of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party and provided Orban crucial links, legitimacy and votes. Since taking office in 2010, he needed the backing as he battled over what the EU’s mainstream said was an erosion of the rule of law. The EPP has lost its chance to build a “large, strong and democratic” umbrella group that expands across a broad range of conservative views, Orban said.

It’s still unclear if Fidesz will leave the EPP, but the announcement is the clearest indication yet of the widening gulf between the Hungarian leader and the EU’s mainstream. The decision on Wednesday capped years of indecision within over Fidesz’s status and whether the illiberal policies championed by the Hungarian premier fit its values.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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