Statement: We ask that the EPP expell Fidesz from the EPP

Attacks on LHBT+ persons, the civil society and basic rights are actions that are contrary to the core values of Christian Democrats and Conservatives.

For the past years we have all witnessed how the situation for LGBT+ persons in Hungary has deteriorated. The Hungarian government has led a charge against the LGBT+ community and worsened the conditions for the community in the country. We have during this time voiced our concerns and protested against the measures taken in Hungary. We have also pushed for the European Peoples Party (EPP), to which the parties we are members of belong, to act with greater determination when dealing with the Hungarian ruling party Fidesz and expel them from the EPP and our political family.

We have all witnessed how populistic forces in Hungary attack fundamental freedoms. The rights of individuals as well as families are restricted in a way that has no place in a modern society and that are in contradiction to the values that we as Christian democrats and conservatives believe in.

Several member parties within the EPP from all over Europe have demanded that a decision to expel Fidesz is taken. This shows a determination from all over our political family to not accept the development in Hungary. In a first step this has resulted in Fidesz being suspended indefinitely from the EPP in 2019. When raising the issue about pressing on with an expulsion the answer has been that a decision must be taken at a larger summit of EPP-parties and that the ongoing Covid-crisis has prevented such a gathering. This is yet another troublesome consequence of the pandemic.

But still, even if we can see a future after the pandemic at the end of the tunnel there is no reason to postpone the decision and the necessary discussion. The pandemic has taught us all how to function, to make decisions and how to conduct an open exchange of views in an organised debate online. Therefore, there should be no need to prolong further. The issue can and should be resolved – pandemic or no pandemic. It is about protecting the core values of our political family.

To add to the list of incriminating evidence clearly marking Fidesz as a party which does not deserve to be part of the Christian Democrat and Conservative movement in Europe more troublesome news came from Hungary in mid-January. The news report that Hungary intends to make publishers specially mark literature about or concerning LGBT+-issues and the LGBT+-community. This is a clear violation of free speech and wholly unworthy of any country in 2021. It makes it abundantly clear that there is no place for Fidesz in the political movement that has built the Europe we know and that always protected the values of freedom and dignity for all Europeans.

We have by far reached the limit of any possible way of acting other than expelling Fidesz from the EPP. Just as we saw that the Renew Europe group expelled a member for homophobic slur the EPP need to act with the same determination. To keep waiting due to practicalities seriously damages the credibility of our political family.

Our demand is simple. Raise the issue on the agenda and act. Expel Fidesz once and for all.