The European People’s Party group stands by Fidesz MEP Balázs Hidvéghi’s nomination to serve as vice-chair of the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee (LIBE) after calls from civil groups funded by US billionaire George Soros for the EPP to withdraw the nomination, Fidesz’s EP group has said. “The pro-migration forces will stop at nothing to override the clear will of Hungarian voters,” MEPs of the ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance said in a statement. But at its Monday session, the EPP’s parliamentary group decided not to give in to the pressure of “Soros’s more than 200 European lobby groups” and vowed to stand by its original nominees for committee positions, Fidesz-KDNP said. The MEPs said the lobby groups in question had penned a letter to the EPP group expressing their concerns over Hidvéghi’s nomination. Further, they called on the group to “find a nominee for the position of LIBE vice-chair who pursues an open and transparent dialogue with civil society organisations.”
Fidesz insisted the letter’s “independent” signatories were all backed by Soros’s foundations. The group called it “outrageous” that the signatories “ignore the written rules and customary law of the European Parliament that have been in effect for 40 years”. “This constitutes a grave violation of the EP’s rules from those who preach about the adherence to constitutional norms at every forum,” they added.
Last week, Hungarian MEPs Tamás Deutsch and Kinga Gál of ruling Fidesz, István Ujhelyi of the Socialists and Gyula Winkler of Romania’s ethnic Hungarian RMDSZ party were elected to EP committee vice-chair positions. However, the votes were delayed in the cases of certain committees, including the constitutional affairs committee (AFCO), the culture and education committee (CULT) and the civil liberties committee.