By Irene Kostaki – Journalist, New Europe
The President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen met with Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Brussels where the two discussed her plans for climate protection, economic, migration policy, and the role of the EU in the world.
“We have made a good decision so far,” Orban told Hungary’s public broadcaster after the meeting and described von der Leyen as a politician “who has the same thoughts about the future” regarding “children and families, security, and a common European force and the development of the military industry.”
Hungary under Orban has come under increasingly intense criticism from current Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for the former’s crackdown on political opponents, as well as attacks on the rule of law and civil society. Juncker has, himself, personally chastised members of Fidesz, the ruling party in Hungary.
Orban supported von der Leyen’s candidacy to succeed Juncker and later described her with his MEPs votes in the European Parliament. Orban had at the time described her victory as an important development that would help strengthen the 28 member bloc.
However, the political guidelines of the von der Leyen will be no different to those of Juncker, while the First vice-president for the rule of law, Frans Timmermans, is set to remain as a deputy head of the College of Commissioners.
After von der Leyen’s election, Orban said it was a good decision to keep “ideological gorillas” – in reference to Juncker’s First Vice-President Frans Timmermans – away from the Commission presidency and nominate someone with a “pragmatic instinct”.