This article has been published online by the Magyar Nemzet on March 5, 2021.
“I see Fidesz’ decision to leave the People’s Party as a gesture of defending democracy. No matter how contradictory it may seem due to the Western press’ passion of portraying the Hungarian Prime Minister as a dictator, he continues to be the one who represents the people who elected him. Democracy within a country can only happen according to the will of its citizens” said Marco Gervasoni, Italian contemporary historian, professor at the University of Molise, opinion journalist for the center-right II Giornale newspaper, and member of numerous conservative organizations in an interview with out paper.
What do you think about Fidesz’ decision yesterday to leave the European People’s Party (EPP) Group and seek a new direction for Europe’s right?
– I find Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s move a remarkable and exemplary decision. It’s especially important for the conservative right. To be honest, it was incomprehensible to me that Fidesz stayed a member of the EPP for so long. I’m not just referring to the growing conflicts, but also the Group’s shift towards the left. Many of their members have nothing to do with the conservative worldview. Think of Angela Merkel’s party that approved same-sex marriage or the multiple member parties supporting migration. These are starkly opposed to the political force led by Viktor Orbán, representing the protection of the national and European identity, the traditional family, the Christian roots at the heart of it all, and putting an end to illegal immigration. He was the one who warned that migration is not just a question of domestic security, but also a source of civil conflict.
What effect could the Hungarian decision have on other EPP members parties?
– I see Fidesz’ decision to leave the People’s Party as a gesture of defending democracy. No matter how contradictory it may seem due to the Western press’ passion of portraying the Hungarian Prime Minister as a dictator, he continues to be the one who represents the people who elected him. Democracy within a country can only happen according to the will of its citizens. So-called international democracy is not possible. I believe that European conservative forces, like Orbán, must fight for the importance of democracy, because the globalist approach seeks precisely to deprive citizens of the opportunity to make decisions. I also see democracy being defended in rejecting governmental interferences. A national parliament cannot accept the European Union’s legal system without any reservations, but this is the exact goal, to circumvent local ruling. Fidesz’ withdrawal could inspire self-awareness in other parties, and more may leave – I am thinking of the Czech and Slovak counterparts for example.
What reactions has this news caused among Italian center-right politicians?
– Italian Conservative politicians agree with the decision, especially considering the possibility that Fidesz may join the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group led by Giorgia Meloni. The mutual recognition and friendship between Meloni and Orbán is well known; they’ve met many times and supported each other in difficult moments. On this occasion as well, Giorgia Meloni assured the Hungarian Prime Minister of his solidarity. There was no reaction from the Forza Italia! party led by Silvio Berlusconi, which I personally missed considering the years-long connection that held the two parties together. Leader of Lega Nord, Matteo Salvini’s, message of compassion and friendship to the Hungarian PM was an unexpected surprise. It was not anticipated because the Draghi Cabinet, which he recently joined, strongly represents the European technocratic path.
If Fidesz joined the European Conservatives and Reformists Group, what effects would it have?
– It would absolutely represent a revival, given its position as a strong, governing party with a high-profile Prime Minister. Whenever the left portrays someone as a demon, it clearly means they’re doing their job well. It would also be important in a geopolitical sense: the Polish-Hungarian balance could attract more in the region like the Czechs and Slovaks, or even the Slovenians and the Croatians, but even the Austrians as we all know that Kurz (like Orbán) deviates from the EPP on many issues. I believe that in the end, Fidesz’ withdrawal could make many people aware of the fact that the EPP has divided itself and long-ago abandoned the values and worldview it originally represented.