Hungarian Leader Calls for EU Commission President’s Resignation

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has called for the replacement of Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission, labeling her five-year tenure as the “worst” in the EU’s history.

Orban told reporters from the German media group Funke on Sunday that the EU’s green transition had been detrimental to the bloc’s economic and industrial interests, while its migration policy had also proven ineffective.

“The past five years have been perhaps the worst five years in the history of the EU. The European Commission and the Brussels elite have had limited success,” Orban said. The EU requires efficient leadership, and there are “plenty” of capable politicians who could fulfill this role, he added.

He argued that the recent European Parliament elections demonstrated the public’s desire for change in Brussels.

Voters shifted significantly to the right in the elections earlier this month, with ruling coalitions in Germany and France being comprehensively defeated by right-wing parties. “However, it appears the same ruling coalition will remain in power. I’m not optimistic about the direction things are heading,” Orban said. “We have a systemic problem.” Centrist parties retained a majority in the European Parliament, with von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) winning 190 seats. 

Von der Leyen is seeking a second term as European Commission president, stating that her objective is to “build a broad majority for a strong Europe,” and to keep Brussels on a “pro-Ukraine path.”

Members of the European Parliament will vote on confirming the next Commission president on 18 July. Von der Leyen will need to secure a majority of MEPs’ votes.

Orban also asserted that Europeans must “rise up again” if they want to “keep pace with the Americans.” He praised former US President Donald Trump, expressing “101% confidence” in him, and describing him as a “man of peace” because he “didn’t start a single war.”

Orban has long been a vocal critic of the West’s approach to the Ukraine conflict, particularly its arms shipments to Kiev.