European Christian Democrats EPP elect Donald Tusk as president

Plenary session - European Council and Commission statements - Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019

The newly elected European People's Party (EPP) president, Donald Tusk, says a group of prominent "sages" will evaluate the EPP membership of the Hungarian government party Fidesz. The prominent Christian Democrats will issue a report before the end of the year. "Then I will start an intensive consultation and we will make a decision at the end of January," Tusk said.

In a speech at the EPP Congress in Zagreb, Tusk took a strong stand against "political populists, manipulators and autocrats." He did not name Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban by name, but it is clear that his message was directed at the louse in the fur of the EPP.

The Fidesz party was temporarily suspended from the EPP at the beginning of this year, prior to the European elections, due to the continuing anti-European criticism of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. There was also criticism in many EU countries of the way in which the Fidesz Party more or less turned Hungary into a one-party state.

In the EPP, some people are concerned about the possible removal of Orban from the European party umbrella. It is feared that he will be driven into the arms of extremists, while the EPP will also lose the twelve seats that Fidesz now occupies in the European Parliament.

The Pole Don ald Tusk has been President of the European Council for the past five years and has led the summit meetings of presidents and prime ministers. He is succeeded as EU president by the Belgian liberal former prime minister Michel.

The former Polish Prime Minister has been committed to the European cause in recent years and many hope that he will also use this passion to set the EPP on a new course. The EPP is the largest political group in Europe, but has also lost votes due to the rise of populism and extremist parties.

The Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic hosted the EPP congress. In his opening speech, he referred to the controversial decision about not admitting Northern Macedonia and Albania. He called it a "regrettable mistake." In the coming six months, if Croatia is to take over the rotating presidency of EU, it can reinforce its words.

Plenkovic has received support from six countries (Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Italy). The Foreign Ministers of these six countries are not opposed to a revision of the accession procedure, the reason why French President Macron has blocked negotiations with Northern Macedonia and Albania.