The row started over billboards erected by the Fidesz party, which directly challenge George Soros and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Appealing to patriotic voters in Hungary, the posters told them: “You also have the right to know what Brussels is up to”. The message proved too controversial for the EU and Orban’s partners in the EPP, resulting in a threat to expel Fidesz from the European grouping. 

Orban, clearly unhappy with the threats, is now turning to Poland to potentially build a new alliance in the European Parliament. Perhaps one natural home for Orban would be the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF/MENL) movement which is led by France’s Marine Le Pen, though it seems the Hungarian Prime Minister is considering a potentially more “mainstream” movement led by his party and Poland’s ruling party. 

In a radio interview, he explained that he would prefer to stay in the EPP and strengthen their anti-migration forces within the group, though I somehow find it difficult to believe that will happen. Arch Europhile Donald Tusk (President of the European Council) serves as one of its leaders, and Merkel’s pro-mass-immigration CDU party is a member of the group. Call me a pessimist…

The fact that the EPP group leader Mandred Weber demanded the posters be taken down, and that Orban’s party is complying, is hardly a good sign. 

Orban could achieve a lot by working with Poland, and potentially bring the likes of Sebastian Kurz along with him. If the European Union is going to survive, and if it is ever going to work in favour of the patriotic people of Europe, then it needs strong, nationalist groupings within it. Pressure from a new grouping that includes Fidesz and PiS – along with the likes of the ENF – could affect real change inside the European Union. 

Remaining a member of a pro-EU bloc and capitulating to their demands won’t do a thing.