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Hungary’s ruling Fidesz has unilaterally suspended exercising its rights as a member of the European People’s Party, the prime minister said at an international press conference after an EPP meeting in Brussels.

The EPP has asked “three wise men” to prepare a report, on the basis of which “the long-term future of the EPP and that of the relationship between the EPP and Fidesz can be decided”, Viktor Orbán said. “We cannot be ejected or suspended; we have won four elections by the will of Hungarian citizens,” Orbán insisted. He noted that Fidesz had garnered 47, 56, and 52% of the votes during the past three European parliamentary elections, respectively. “A party like that will obviously not allow itself to be ejected or suspended but will stand up and leave instead,” he said.

Fidesz has decided to “suspend our rights for the period while we wait for the three wise men to complete their report, then we will have talks again with the EPP”, Orbán said. The prime minister stressed that Hungary’s policies remained unchanged, saying that he had made this clear at Wednesday’s assembly. He said this applied to Hungary’s goal of a strong Europe, a strong European Union, its immigration policy and its priority to protect Europe’s Christian culture.