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PM refuses to support EC president candidate

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said he will not support Jean-Claude Juncker in becoming the president of the European Commission, “even if the [center-right] European People’s Party (EPP) wins the EP elections”.

The Hungarian PM is the first EPP leader to publicly express unwillingness to support Juncker. “We don’t believe he should lead the Comission” Orbán said when giving an interview to Hungarian television channel Hír TV. “There is no way I would vote on Juncker” he added.

Governing Hungarian party Fidesz enjoyed the support of the EPP when the right-wing party received a Europe-wide criticism over the issues of rule of law, changes in the constitution and media freedom.

David Cameron, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, shares Orbán’s views by opposing Juncker and also the Socialist leader Martin Schulz. Cameron considers the two leaders too federalist for leading the European Commission.

Referring to Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, Orbán said that “a Luxembourger commissioner has just hurt Hungary […] thus Hungarians cannot support a Luxembourger”. Orbán, mentioning Reding, referred to the commissioner who lead the charge against the changes in the Hungarian constitution. His second reference is about Juncker, who was the Prime Minister of Luxembourg until last year.