Consolidating the Centre-right in Europe.
This is a must to battle the new ‘Grand Coalition’ in Brussels. As always, Viktor Orban can be the “game-changer”.
– How did Emmanuel Macron, once dead, manage to enjoy so much in influence at the EU Jobs Summit? Simple, he embraced change and merged his group with Guy Verhofstadt’s ALDE Party to form RenewEurope ( i.e., RenewMacron).
Whether out of desperation or not, this was a brilliant strategic move; absent of this deal, Macron would not have had close to the amount of success that he achieved at the EU Summit.
Sometimes one must think outside of the box.
– What is missing in the EU for positive change? The V4 Report strongly believes Europe is in desperate need of a solid, strong and principled Centre-right bloc that will work with (in two different parties) Salvini’s group on the right to provide a counterbalance to the heavy influence of Germany, France and the West EU bloc.
Originally, we thought the right could unite in one bloc, but there are mainly challenges (personalities) that will make this difficult, if not impossible. Moreover, it is not a necessity given how well the liberals, socialists and EPP work together today inside the EU.
Some think the EPP can be reformed to fill this role, but we are negative on this prospect. We believe the EPP (like the CSU of Bavaria) is headed in the wrong direction.
The EPP is dominated by the Grand Coalition of Germany (Merkel and the CSU) and no longer is a Centre-right party, choosing instead to expand its big tent to include liberals from Luxembourg, Belgium, Czech Republic (Top09 just awful), Greece, Finland, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, etc. The party even includes Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform and no longer possesses enough true conservatives to provide the base necessary for reform.
Viktor Orban and Fidesz are one of the few exceptions and have been very successful, but they may not be maximizing their talents inside of Berlin’s EPP party, which seeks ‘more EU’ in many ways.
There are notable exceptions but – especially regarding Germany’s dominant position – the EPP as a whole favors EU federalism and expanding the power and scope of Brussels.
– Change is not easy, but whether business, sport or politics, one must regularly embrace it in order to move forward.
The V4 Report believes Orban/Fidesz would be better off joining forces with the powerful PiS of Poland inside the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), while recruiting other dissatisfied conservatives (Slovenia as one example) currently in the EPP.
Overall, we find the ECR members of higher quality than the EPP, and more in tune when it comes to migration, the sovereignty of the nation state and rolling back the power and scope of Brussels. Even geographically, the ECR can be more CEE-based than the EPP.
Some of its members include the PiS (Poland), Brothers of Italy, Spanish Vox, Greek Solution, the Dutch Forum for Democracy, Bulgarian National Movement, Croatian Conservative Party, ODS (Czech Republic), National Alliance (Latvia), Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania – Christian Families Alliance, Freedom and Solidarity (Slovakia), and Sweden Democrats.
While they may not be perfect or as influential as the PiS or Fidesz, we feel this group has more potential to enact positive change compared to Merkel’s EPP.
But they need the leadership of both a Orban and the PiS to grow.
Fidesz and the PiS have to join forces (PiS is not welcomed in Tusk’s EPP and is despised by many German members of this club) in order to build this new Centre-right alliance. Only Orban and the PiS posses the clout and stature to make it happen. In the long term, their leadership will only strengthen some of the emerging parties.
In addition, as we will explain in the coming weeks, this strong alliance may be able to strengthen the leadership of an alternative force inside the Czech Republic, the ODS, which is not perfect but already aligned with the PiS. We are not comfortable at all with the ANO group and its affiliation with RenewEurope (Macron, Michel and Verhofstadt).
In the long run, we believe Visegrad could be weakened from Andrej Babis and his affiliation with the Macron and Verhofstadt EU federalists in Brussels. Babis’ appointment of Vera Jourova crossed the line and revealed his true colors.
Is this really healthy for Visegrad/Central Europe and its vision? The Socialists or Macron’s movement? We think not.
One has to remember that ALDE and Macron’s group had to merge to become stronger. Although we oppose their vision, we give them credit for the change; both were struggling on their own and without it, Macron would have had no chance of achieving the success he enjoyed at the EU Summit.
* Obviously, this coalition is not problem-free, but Viktor Orban would be the “game-changer”. Instantly, the influence of the ECR would be expanded; more importantly, it could provide the Centre-right with a base to work with Salvini in order to thwart the agenda of France and Germany.
The V4 can be proud that they defeated Timmermans but they must realize that there are many “ideological guerrillas” in Brussels. In fact, they are swarming all over the place and ready to grab more powers at the expense of the nation states.
In order to move forward, Viktor Orban, the PiS and Visegrad must be willing to embrace the type of change needed to capitalize on their strengths in order to form a real center-right alliance willing and capable of working with Salvini on the right.
The status-quo is not the long-term solution and something must change. Who better than Viktor Orban (like he did in 2015) and the PiS to get the ball rolling.