Tuesday

6th Dec 2022

Hungarian PM breaks ranks on Juncker

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has said he will not support Jean-Claude Juncker's bid to become president of the European Commission even if the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) wins the European elections.

Orban is the first EPP leader to publicly break ranks on the issue.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

"We don't think he should lead the Commission," Orban said in an interview with Hir TV on the eve of the election.

The EPP supported Orban's ruling Fidesz party when the government was under criticism over questions of rule of law, media freedom and constitutional changes. Orban said "there is no way" he would vote for Juncker.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron is known to oppose both Juncker and the Socialist top candidate, Martin Schulz, as leaders of the next European Commission because he considers them too federalist.

Orban shares Cameron's anti-federalist view, often referring to a "community of nation states" as the way forward for the EU.

He has also argued that "the commissioner from Luxembourg has only hurt Hungary in the past", a reference to Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who led the charge against Orban's constitutional changes.

"So Hungarians cannot support a Luxembourger," he said, in reference to Juncker who was Luxembourg's Prime Minister until last year.

Fidesz is expected to win between 11 and 14 of Hungary's 21 seats in the European Parliament.

The country is expected to have a record low turnout at the election. By 3pm on Sunday, only 19 percent of the electorate had voted. Five years ago at the same time, participation was at 24 percent.

Juncker rebukes Hungary's EU commissioner

Exchange of bad tempered letters sees Juncker tell Navracsics to stay neutral, after Hungarian commissioner objects to Hungary-critical initiative.

Culture MEPs rebel against Juncker

A handful of Liberal, Green, leftist and anti-establishment MEPs dealing with culture have called for a boycott against the Juncker commission because of his Hungarian nominee.

Portugal was poised to scrap 'Golden Visas' - why didn't it?

Over the last 10 years, Portugal has given 1,470 golden visas to people originating from countries whose tax-transparency practices the EU finds problematic. But unlike common practice in other EU states with similar programmes, Portugal has not implemented "due diligence".

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP27: Food systems transformation for climate action
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region and the African Union urge the COP27 to talk about gender equality
  3. International Sustainable Finance CentreJoin CEE Sustainable Finance Summit, 15 – 19 May 2023, high-level event for finance & business
  4. Friedrich Naumann Foundation European DialogueGender x Geopolitics: Shaping an Inclusive Foreign Security Policy for Europe
  5. Obama FoundationThe Obama Foundation Opens Applications for its Leaders Program in Europe
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos

Latest News

  1. EU countries struggle to crack Hungary's vetos
  2. Frontex expanding migrant route-busting mission in Balkans
  3. EU ministers in fresh battle on joint debt, after Biden subsidies
  4. EU: 'We'll see' if Moscow actually stops selling oil over price-cap
  5. Bad Karma
  6. Serbia now has no choice but to join EU sanctions on Russia
  7. Hungary's funds showdown in focus This WEEK
  8. EU must break Orbán's veto on a tax rate for multinationals

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us