A plenary session of the European Parliament - Photo: europarl.europa.eu

EPP group votes to admit Hungary’s opposition Tisza Party into its ranks, KDNP to leave EPP

The European parliamentary group of the European People's Party voted to admit the Hungarian opposition Party of Respect and Freedom (Tisza) into its EP group at a meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

MEPs of the EPP voted, with 97 percent in favour, to allow the seven candidates from Tisza’s list who have been elected to the EP — Peter Magyar, Dora David, Zoltan Tarr, Andras Kulja, Eszter Lakos, Gabriella Gerzsenyi and Kinga Kollar — to join their group.

In addition to Tisza’s MEPs, the centre-right grouping also voted in favour of admitting seven other MEPs into the group.

According to the EPP’s statement, the admission of the new members will allow the group to consolidate its position “as by far the strongest political Group in the European Parliament”.

It also said that the newly admitted MEPs had joined the EPP Political Group, but their parties had not joined the EPP Party, noting that decisions regarding Group and Party membership were independent of each other.

According to the latest update from the European Parliament, the EPP will have 190 MEPs, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 136, Renew Europe 80, the European Conservatives and Reformists 76, the Identity and Democracy group 58, the Greens 52 and the Left will have 39 MEPs. There are a total of 89 independent or new MEPs, the latter of whom can still join a party group after the formation of the new EP.

KDNP to leave EPP

The Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP), Hungary’s junior ruling party, is leaving the European People’s Party and the party family’s group in the European Parliament, in response to the EPP’s decision to admit Peter Magyar, the leader of opposition Respect and Freedom (Tisza) party, into its EP group, KDNP leader Zsolt Semjen and MEP Gyorgy Holvenyi said on Tuesday.

KDNP had stated earlier, after talks with EPP leader Manfred Weber, that they disagreed with the party family’s “pro-war doctrine” and opposed “on moral grounds” the admission of Tisza to the party family or that of its leader, Peter Magyar, to the EPP party group, the statement said.

“The EPP has shifted to the left and lost its identity in the process, it is no longer the party created by its Christian Democratic founders… Its pro-war doctrine is diametrically opposed to the pro-peace commitment that was at the root of the European Union,” the statement said.

KDNP will continue to represent the interests of Hungarians and Christian Democracy, and Holvenyi “will continue to fight for persecuted Christians”, the statement said.

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