We should take actions against Hungarian government

    Saturday, 04 April 2020
    This is an opinion article by an external contributor. The views belong to the writer.

    It is with great concern that we are following the situation in Hungary and their latest Covid-19 measures.

    On Monday 30 March, the Hungarian Parliament voted to allow the Hungarian Government to rule by decree without any end date in sight. Disproportionate measures which de facto will allow the government to rule without any opposition.

    This new legislation will also ban elections as long as the legislation remains in place. In addition, the legislation includes disturbing restrictions of Hungarian citizens’ freedom of expression.

    Should we – in the EPP Party – still embrace a government whose citizens now risk years in jail if they criticise the government? The latest attempt by Prime Minister Orbán to strangle democracy and the fundamental rule of law principles in Hungary, is the final straw for us. Our red line has now been crossed and we do not want to share political family with Fidesz anymore.

    We have legal – and more importantly – moral obligations to secure EU citizens’ fundamental rights. Fundamental rights that our ancestors have fought and died for are now being tried demolished by a Prime Minister who earlier has endorsed an “illiberal democracy”.

    In a world, where despots, dictators and fake news threaten democracies, Europe and EU must stand firm and protect the free world and our rule of law principles. EPP as the biggest and oldest European people’s party has a special obligation we must never let down.

    Our position is clear. Liberal democracy and civil liberties are not for sale. In this context, we very much welcome our EPP President Tusk’s statement on 1 April that “the time will soon come when you will have to again reconsider positions.” We support this strong message to the EPP family.

    Dear EPP colleagues, we believe that the EPP should stand firm on our strong conservative, liberal and Christian democratic values and take the necessary actions towards Fidesz.

    By Dennis Radtke (CDU, Germany), Christophe Hansen (Parti populaire chrétien-social, Luxembourg), Tomas Tobé (Moderaterne, Sweden), Maria Walsh (Fine Gael, Ireland), and Pernille Weiss (Det Konservative Folkeparti, Denmark), all members of the European People’s Party (EPP) in the European Parliament.