Fidesz MEP Tamas Deutsch – Photo: wikipedia

EPP group condemns Deutsch’s remarks

Deputies of the European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament have strongly condemned critical statements made by Tamas Deutsch, an MEP of Hungary's ruling Fidesz, about the group and its leader, but have not expelled him from their ranks, under a decision adopted at a meeting on Wednesday evening.

Austrian MEP Othmar Karas had initiated Deutsch’s expulsion from the group over comments Deutsch had made comparing the EPP and its group leader Manfred Weber’s support for the European Union’s rule of law mechanism to 20th century authoritarian regimes.

The EPP group said on its website that Deutsch’s remarks were “in clear contradiction with European Christian Democracy and EPP values”. “Such behaviour has no place in our family,” the group said in a statement.

The group said that “frequent attacks by Fidesz’s representatives towards the European Union and its values are not in line with the core beliefs of the EPP”, namely European integration, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a media free of political intervention, support of civil society, and the protection of human rights and every minority.

The group therefore decided to withdraw with immediate effect all rights from Deutsch to address a plenary session of the EP on behalf of the group, to represent the group as a (shadow) rapporteur or represent its other formal positions.

Further, the group has called on all of its Fidesz MEPs “to reflect on whether their fundamental political convictions still are compatible with the values and core content of the group”.

The group has also called on the European People’s Party “to take a final decision on the membership of Fidesz immediately when health conditions allow this to happen”, according to the statement.

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