Fidesz-KDNP to discuss policy in Visegrád ahead of February parliamentary session

January 5, 2017

The year-opening Fidesz-KDNP party meeting will be held between February 15-17 in Visegrád, north of Budapest on the Danube river, reports The parties traditionally hold a faction meeting before the beginning of each parliamentary session at which they establish their primary political goals for the coming months.

Early signs indicate that immigration and the EU’s refugee resettlement quota policies will remain major topics of discussion for the ruling Fidesz-KDNP alliance, a continuation of the primary message pushed by the parties in 2016. The Hungarian economy, and especially the initial effects of sales tax reductions and increases to minimum wage that went into effect on the first of this year, will also reportedly be discussed.

The meeting’s location could be a significant reference to the Visegrád 4 group, which comprises Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. The central European bloc has been increasingly referenced as a cohesive political unit in recent months by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, especially as regards immigration policy and response to the refugee crisis. Hosting the party meeting in Visegrád may be a nod to his commitment to the bloc, which has shown signs of discomfort at Orbán misrepresenting its positions on the European stage.

The last Fidesz-KDNP meeting held last September in Balatonfüred also focused heavily on immigration, and served as a final rallying call to party loyalists around the country ahead of the October 2 anti-refugee resettlement quota referendum. That referendum failed to achieve the 50 percent voter participation necessary to be valid, and a subsequent attempt on the part of the governing alliance to modify the constitution was also defeated, but the government continues to use the quota as one of its defining issues.  

The February meeting will mark one year since the Fidesz-KDNP meeting in 2016 in Lillafüred, where public education and healthcare were the main topics of discussion.