Viktor Orbán. Two words that sum up the EPP’s Achilles heel – at least in the eyes of the press. Even the most hardcore EPPers will tell you that Orbán is not exactly EPP material before proceeding to say that “every party has an Orbán”.
What the EPP decides to do with Orbán is critical. The reality in Europe today is that all the major parties have in the past made concessions to the extremes in their own part of the political spectrum to augment their collective power.
What see now is, that it has evolved into a situation where the only way to have at least some control is to keep these parties inside the fence – because once they are out, they go (even more) rogue and cause unpredictable damage.
Not to mention the shifts in the numbers kicking them out would have in the grand scheme of European governance and the numbers game the system is built on.
The candidates for the Spitzen representative of the EPP in the elections will no doubt use Orbán as one of the central theme in themes in their manouvers in the run up to the November primary in Helsinki. A first preview of what will follow is expected on Wednesday, when Weber and his EPP Group in the European Parliament will be under the microscope during a plenary vote on whether Hungary (Orbán) has breached core EU values, thus urging EU member states to investigate. How Weber and the EPP Group act during the vote (will they give a vote of support to Orban?), and how other senior EPP Party figures react in turn, will set the stage for what is to come.