The S&D Group has welcomed the statement from the European Commission that they will begin a political dialogue with the Hungarian government about the deteriorating political situation in the country. However, this means little unless the Commission is prepared to back this dialogue up with the threat of sanctions. The Group also reiterated its call for Fidesz to be removed from the centre right EPP Group.
S&D Group President Gianni Pittella said:
“Last week we called on the European Commission to take action and today they have done that. We welcome the decision of the European Commission to start a political dialogue with the Hungarian government. However, this is only a first step, once the assessment has been completed the Commission must be prepared to use sanctions and concrete measures against Orbán if he does not change course.
“The decision of the Hungarian government to effectively close the respected Central European University is the latest in a long series of violation and breaches of EU values. Looking at the widespread protests in Hungary today it appears to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. We are with all those standing up to Orbán’s corrupt and illiberal regime.
“Orban’s membership of the EPP Group makes a mockery of their claim to stand for European values. As fellow pro-Europeans we urge them to finally stand up for the EU and kick Orbán and his cronies out.”