Mr. Orbán likened events at the extraordinary EU summit to a crime thriller. “The root of the conflict is the fact that some European leaders, including Frans Timmermans and Manfred Weber (the top candidate of the European People’s Party), have decided that over the next five years the European Commission should be led by someone who is an unwavering representative of the network of Soros-style NGOs and liberal democracy”, he added.
“For this they’ve found a real warrior. Timmermans is a good warrior and no mean opponent, for which he has my respect. He is an ideological warrior who accepts no diversity, who tolerates no views which diverge from his own and from liberal democracy, and who wants to force his own conception on all EU Member States”, Mr. Orbán said.
The Hungarian Prime Minister said that in his view if this group can occupy the presidency of the Commission, then for many years it will be financing Soros-style NGOs, and thus trying to transform Central European societies – especially with regard to migration.
“Several of us are seeking to stop this process”, the Prime Minister emphasised, citing, amongst others, the European People’s party (EPP), Hungary and the V4.
The Prime Minister said that on Sunday the European People’s Party took two decisions “which the international media either refused to acknowledge or were not informed of”. The first decision was that under no circumstances could Frans Timmermans be the President of the Commission; and the other decision was that the European People’s Party should provide the President of the Commission, even if this means that Manfred Weber does not become President of the European Parliament (EP).
He said that since there are two positions that the European People’s Party cannot occupy, “we must choose the Commission”. He also noted that two party leaders had voted against these decisions: German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Frank Engel of Luxembourg (a People’s Party MEP). “Everyone else voted against Angela Merkel”, he stressed.
“Mrs. Merkel did not acknowledge the EPP’s decision, and continued to “try to put together a package with the Liberals and the Socialists” that would have made Manfred Weber President of the European Parliament and Frans Timmermans President of the Commission”, Mr. Orbán stated.
With relation to Angela Merkel, he said it was a matter of extreme gravity that the Chancellor of the European People’s Party’s largest party had rejected a decision of the Presidency of the European People’s Party, and is acting according to a completely different agenda. “This has provided a real frisson to today’s events,” he said. The Hungarian Prime Minister highlighted the fact that Italy, the V4 and European People’s Party MEPs that are abiding by the EPP’s decision uniformly opposed this “Merkellian behaviour”, and prevented Timmermans from being made President of the Commission.
“The meeting was suspended when it emerged that it was impossible to achieve the majority. Now everyone is sitting, speculating and bargaining, and waiting for tomorrow’s episode”, Mr. Orbán said in assessment.
He stressed that one of the reasons why the V4 countries are rejecting Timmermans is because he is an ideological warrior and fights against anyone whose view of the world is different from his way of thinking. “And this would introduce such a a rift within the European Union that would lead to an East-West divide and huge problems for the EU”, he highlighted.
Viktor Orbán called Timmermans a bad candidate from the pint of view of European unity, making it clear that they would like a candidate who is “a master of East-West cooperation, of building bridges and compromise”.
“We want to give the EU a good President of the Commission, and this is what the V4 is fighting for, what the Italians are fighting for, and what the prime ministers of the European People’s Party are fighting for”, he said.
According to the Prime Minister, this is not easy, “because over the thirty years that I have been involved in European politics, this is the first time I’ve seen the head of the largest party and the largest government in the European People’s Party, the German Chancellor, openly defy a democratic decision of the Presidency of the European People’s Party”.
Mr. Orbán said that the European People’s Party’s parliamentary group is gathering in Strasbourg to discuss the situation. “I very much hope that the parliamentary group of the European People’s Party will send us a clear message about what position we are fighting for, and I hope that this position will not be the President of the Parliament, but the position of President of the Commission”, the Hungarian Prime Minister stated. According to Mr. Orbán, two things are necessary for this: a strong parliamentary background, “the realisation of which is uncertain”; and a package that is acceptable in terms of party affiliation and geography.
“There is a chance of this occurring, and there are four or five packages running parallel to each other, even though we suspended the meeting just a few hours ago”, he continued. “We shall work all evening and night, and I think that by the morning there will be a compromise proposal that could satisfy everyone’s requirements”, he said.
On the subject of the V4, he said they had “performed an amazing feat”, because although the leaders of the four countries belong to four different party families, and all four political groups are in dispute with one another, the Visegrád Group remained united throughout.
“This shows that V4 bonds are now stronger than traditional party bonds. This is a good sign for the future, and it is certain that we will also be staying together tomorrow,” Mr. Orbán said.