The Hungarian Prime Minister is neither Christian nor conservative, but anti-freedom. He finally has to feel the consequences.
For a very long time, the Christian-Democrat-Conservative European People's Party (EPP) has been patient with the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. For Orbán and his fellow campaigners, who are campaigning against refugees, marginalize Roma and fuel nationalism, are decidedly unchristian. Christ welcomed the poor and the persecuted. And Christ was anything but a nationalist.
Orbán and his Fidesz party are also conservative: they do not want to preserve, but destroy, the order of the European Union based on freedom, the rule of law, pluralism, tolerance and cooperation among the peoples. Orbán's plea for an "illiberal democracy" breathes the authoritarian-anti-libidinous spirit of the defunct Soviet Empire.
Orbán's policies jeopardize the independence of the judiciary, interfere with the freedom and diversity of the media, teaching and research, and finance tax campaigns with campaigns against the EU and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, while at the same time receiving billions of EU aid. This is shabby and should now lead to the expulsion of Fidesz from the EPP.
Christian Democrats and Conservatives were afraid of it long before that. The Bavarian CSU received Orbán again and again as a kind of guest of honor, to reflect opportunistically in its Populistenglanz. At least the CSU politician and EPP top candidate Manfred Weber always ventured distance and criticism of Orbán. Now he is tackling the Hungarian populist head-on and realizing what is obvious: that he is getting further and further away from the EPP. Next, the separation must follow. Because it must not stay together, which does not belong together.
Of course, there are arguments against such a move. Orbán could join the camp of right-wing EU skeptics and apologists for the Italian Matteo Salvini. But is not it better to be open to your opponents than to let them roam in your own ranks? The EPP and Weber may need the votes of the Fidesz party to win the office of Commission President. But wants, one may make the most important personality of the EU dependent on a European despiser?
An exclusion of Orbán and his Fidesz could accelerate the alienation of Western Europe to other increasingly authoritarian-nationalist-ruled countries in the East, such as Poland. But do these countries still participate in the European project if it is not just about their economic benefits?
In fact, Hungary or Poland are in a condition in which they are no longer allowed to join the EU. Their governments mock the values of freedom, tolerance and solidarity to which the European Union commits its members. It is extremely sad that the governments of Budapest, Warsaw and elsewhere decades after the fall of the Iron Curtain are now building an ideological wall between East and West. It jeopardizes the future of people across the continent and makes closer, better EU cooperation impossible in the long term.
The danger and consequences of this policy must be made clear to all governments and to all citizens. An exclusion of the Fidesz party from the EPP is also overdue.