The Hungarian government is demanding Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission, suspend his role in the Commission throughout the course of his European Parliament campaign.
Timmermans is responsible for implementing the rule of law portfolio in all EC initiatives and he is simultaneously the leading candidate for the European Socialists.
In this role, Timmermans has been a staunch critic of Orban's leadership and has been one of the strongest advocates for the application of Article 7 procedures on Hungary.
Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Relations of Hungary, Zoltán Kovács, said “it is very clear that Mr Timmermans is Soros' man” while in Brussels Monday.
Once a close ally of Orban, Hungarian-American billionaire George Soros has become public enemy number 1 after advocating for more left-leaning policies during the 2015 migrant crisis.
Kovács claimed Monday that Timmermans political agenda is very reminiscent of Soros' beliefs and argued that Timmermans is a vessel for Soros to extend his political influence.
EC spokesperson Margaritis Schinas came to Timmermans defence, saying “he has done a great job” in his current position. Schinas implied that Timmermans would have no problem separating himself from the campaign, saying "we are colourblind in doing our job."