Politico’s Anna Maria Corazza Bildt writes that the time has come for the European People’s Party to finally stand up to Viktor Orbán.
As Europe’s biggest and most diverse political grouping, we believe in working across political and cultural differences to build a stronger Europe, and are not afraid of having tough debates. Over the past few years, we’ve had constructive dialogue with the Hungarian prime minister’s Fidesz party and repeatedly warned it was in danger of crossing a line.
That line was crossed last month, when Orbán claimed, at an event commemorating the legacy of the great German statesman Helmut Kohl, that Hungary’s “illiberal” model of democracywould be driving force that revitalizes Europe and the EPP.
That prospect is deeply disturbing. Where Kohl united Europe by bringing East and West back together, Orbán is polarizing the Continent by attempting to wrench them apart.
Enough is enough. Many European citizens are wondering where the EPP stands. We can no longer afford to minimize political developments in Hungary. We must make our internal debate public and make up our minds as to where we stand.
It is crucial that the EPP does not allow the rule of law to become politicized, she added.