Manfred Weber and Frans Timmermans, the lead candidates of the European People’s Party and the European Socialists, “have failed” in their bids to become the next European Commission president, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has said.
Orbán said this was “good news” for Hungary because the Hungarian people did not want to see either of them in charge. Speaking to reporters in Brussels about the first day of the ongoing European Union summit, Orbán said: “We’ve taken important steps forward.” The prime minister noted that his Fidesz party had won last month’s European Parliament election with 53% of the vote. “This is unparalleled: hardly anyone in Europe has this [level of support],” he said, adding that the mandate given to his party would be used to prevent the EU from choosing leaders who support immigration. He noted that he had also vowed to make sure that the EU would not have a leader who “doesn’t respect Hungary or the central European countries”. Orbán said he had been successful in keeping these promises because “the Spitzenkandidaten, Mr. Weber and Mr. Timmermans, have fallen.” “They didn’t meet either of the criteria, so their departure is good news for Hungary,” the prime minister added.