The MEP group of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz-Christian Democrat alliance has called for opening a “new chapter” in the functioning of the European Union and a fundamental turnaround in its economic and migration policies. The MEP group said in a statement that it saw a greater chance of achieving these goals under the new European Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen than it had before. Fidesz MEP Tamás Deutsch said he was “cautiously optimistic” that the EU could “move away from its earlier foolish migration policy”, noting that “a far more sensible” policy was starting to take shape. The Fidesz-Christian Democrat group is optimistic about the new commission and considers the approval of Olivér Várhelyi as the commissioner for neighbourhood and enlargement policy Hungary’s “biggest diplomatic success of the past ten years”, Deutsch said. He said the previous commission had caused “serious damage” and weakened Europe with its “flawed” migration and economic policies, arguing that a new direction was needed. “They let the migrants in and allowed Britain to leave,” the MEP said. “The continent’s security situation has deteriorated significantly and the European economy is again showing signs of a crisis.”
The MEP group of the leftist opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) said in a statement that Von der Leyen’s plans were congruent with the main pillars of DK’s platform for Europe, such as the party’s push for the introduction of an EU-wide minimum wage and the taxation of multinational companies. Socialist Party MEP István Ujhelyi said that in spite of his reservations, he had high expectations of the bloc’s new executive body. He said his party would push for direct funding of local councils as well as legislation on minimum health services. Momentum MEP Anna Donáth abstained from voting on the new commission as a way of expressing her doubts over Várhelyi’s independence of the Hungarian government as well as her disapproval of the “backroom deals” that led to Von der Leyen’s election. Jobbik’s Márton Gyöngyösi called for strengthening the directly-elected European Parliament and guaranteeing the conditions of the rule of law in member states. Summarising his address to the EP plenary in a Facebook post, Gyöngyösi called for boosting the EU’s social pillar, fairer wages and climate protection.