We are the European People’s Party (EPP) as we continue to represent the heritage of former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Government Spokesperson Zoltán Kovács said in an interview given to the newspaper Magyar Hírlap which was published in the daily’s Thursday edition.

Mr Kovács pointed out that, similar to the founders, they believe that core European Christian cultural values must be preserved, and the goal is for the European Union to be comprised of strong nation states which cooperate with one another. “There is no doubt that the balance of power will change in the European Parliament after next May’s EP elections”, the government spokesperson said.

He also highlighted that, despite the differences in views, they support the candidacy of Manfred Weber – a politician belonging to the Christian democratic wing – for the office of president of the European Commission. He said in explanation that Manfred Weber is a man with whom “one can reason”, in contrast to Alexander Stubb who belongs to the EPP’s liberal wing. He added that there is no problem with differences as good solutions can only be conceived through dialogue.

The daily observed that Manfred Weber supported the adoption of the Sargentini report, and in answer to the question as to whether the government will be prepared to compromise on this issue, Mr Kovács said that such a measure would be “contrary to common sense” as Hungary is right as far as the goals are concerned: Hungary holds that there must be order also in democracy.

Mr Kovács did not engage in speculations as to whether Fidesz will still be a member of the People’s Party this time next year. He said they share a Christian democratic and conservative view, and added that in the last two EP elections within the EPP the Fidesz-KDNP party alliance was among the political forces most supported in their own countries.

Regarding the CEU case, the government spokesperson said it was a mere political bluff that the university would take the issuance of degrees to another country. They are convinced that the “Soros University” will continue to operate in Budapest also in the future. He observed that Hungary needs every university which helps young Hungarians acquire competitive skills and knowledge. However, the same rules apply to everyone, and the Hungarian State only intervenes in education as much as any other state does.

(MTI/Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister)