The debate regarding Fidesz’s membership of the European People’s Party is, in actual fact, about immigration: it is the approach to migration that determines in what light individual members within the EPP see Fidesz’s membership, the Minister heading the Prime Minister’s Office stated on Tuesday in Budapest.

Gergely Gulyás said this in response to the fact that Manfred Weber, head of the European People’s Party group in the European Parliament and the EPP’s lead candidate for President of the European Commission had talks with Prime Minister Viktor Orbán during the day.

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In the past few weeks those parties have initiated Fidesz’s expulsion from the People’s Party with which the larger government party has always had many disputes in a number of fields. These formations, almost without exception, voted for the distribution mechanism with mandatory quotas, and their approach to immigration is also fundamentally different from that which the Hungarian government believes to be right, the Minister stressed.

He added that both Mr Weber and Mr Orbán intend for Fidesz to remain within the EPP; both parties have a vested interest in coming to an agreement.

At the same time, Mr Gulyás highlighted that everyone has limits which are difficult to cross: the Hungarian Prime Minister made it clear that on the issues of the protection of the external borders, the rejection of migration and the protection of Christian culture Hungary is unable and also unwilling to compromise.

The Minister said the two politicians discussed not only topical affairs, but also spoke about the future of Europe, the responsibilities of European institutions and various proposals.

The government is happy that Mr Weber updated Mr Orbán in person, and also that the protection of the external borders and the stopping of migration are key elements of his plans. These are also of the utmost importance for the Hungarian cabinet, and this is why they are able to support the German politician’s candidacy for the office of President of the European Commission. The Tuesday meeting provided a guarantee that if he were to become the President of the Commission, he would take firm action against migration and would regard the protection of the external borders as an important goal. This is common ground, the Minister said.

Mr Gulyás stressed that Mr Weber made it clear that he rejects migration: he believes that illegal immigration must be stopped altogether.

Regarding the requests of the People’s Party group leader, the Minister said the hoarding campaign had finished; from now on members of the public will see hoardings promoting the government’s family protection action plan.

The Prime Minister did not mean to insult anyone with the term “useful idiots”; however, should anyone feel they have been insulted nonetheless by the Prime Minister’s words, he is ready to apologise, Mr Gulyás stated.

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He said in continuation that the government sees the future of (the Hungarian-accredited) Közép-európai Egyetem (Central European University) as guaranteed.

Mr Weber indicated that he has proposals to offer even in cooperation with the State of Bavaria. The government is ready to engage in any talks, but believes that the statutory regulations regarding the recognition of foreign degrees are compatible with the relevant European practice, and also with the practices of several German states, including Bavaria, he said.

The Minister believes it is important that in the next five years we should have a European Commission which is able to concentrate on the most important matters.

In the past few years, the Commission has not addressed demographic issues at all, has been unable to halt migration, and has been unable to keep Britain, the country which has the continent’s second strongest economy, in the European Union, he listed.

The Commission has neglected a great many areas, or has simply failed, Mr Gulyás said in summary, adding that they would like the next five years to be about successes.

The Minister confirmed at the same time that Fidesz is unable to compromise on the issues of migration, the guarding of the external borders and the protection of Christian culture, regardless of the internal conflicts that this may cause within the People’s Party.