European People's Party
|European People's Party|
|President||Wilfried Martens (BE)|
|President of the European Council||Herman Van Rompuy (President) (BE)|
|President of the European Commission||José Manuel Barroso (President) (PT)|
|Parliament Group Leader||Joseph Daul (Group Leader) (FR)|
|Founded||8 July 1976|
|Headquarters||Rue du Commerce / Handelsstraat 10, 1000 Brussels, Belgium|
|Youth wing||Youth of the European People's Party|
|International affiliation||Centrist Democrat International
International Democrat Union
|European Parliament group||European People's Party|
|Colours||Blue and Gold|
(Heads of Government)
|National Upper House Seats|
|National Lower House Seats|
The European People's Party (EPP) is the major European political party of the centre-right. The EPP was founded in 1976 by Christian democratic parties, but later it increased its membership to include conservative parties and parties of other centre-right perspectives.
The EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999, the European Council since 2002 and is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission are both from the EPP. Many of the Founding fathers of the European Union were also from parties that would later form the EPP. Outside the EU, the party also controls a majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The EPP has alternated with its centre-left rival the Party of European Socialists (PES) as the largest European political party.
The EPP includes major parties such as the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), French Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Italian People of Freedom (PdL), Spanish People's Party (PP), and Polish Civic Platform (PO), but has member parties in almost all EU states. It has no member party in the United Kingdom, as the British Conservative Party do not agree with the EPP's federalist policies, and formed the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists.
According to its website, the EPP is "the family of the political centre-right, whose roots run deep in the history and civilization of the European continent and has pioneered the European project from its inception."
It’s to be noted though, that many political centre-right associations were already on the move since long ago and could be considered as EPP’s predecessors. For example the Nouvelles Equipes Internationales in 1946 or 1948, via the European Union of Christian Democrats founded in 1965, although it has been argued that it ultimately descends from the Secretariat International des partis démocratiques d'inspiration chrétienne founded in 1925.
An important movement came in the late 1990s, when Finnish politician Sauli Niinistö, negotiated the merger of the European Democrat Union (EDU), of which he was President, into the EPP. In October 2002, the EDU ceased its activities after being formally absorbed by the EPP at a special event in Estoril, Portugal. In recognition of his efforts, Niinistö was elected Honorary President of the EPP in the same year.
During these 35 years, the EPP has had four Presidents:
- Leo Tindemans (1976–1985)
- Piet Bukman (1985–1987)
- Jacques Santer (1987–1990)
- Wilfried Martens (1990–)
Platform and manifesto 
Political manifesto and platform 
During its Congress of Bucharest in 2012, the European People's Party updated its political platform after 20 years (EPP Congress of Athens, 1992) and it approved a political manifesto in which it summarises is main values and policies.
Among them, the manifesto highlights:
- Freedom as a central human right and coupled with responsibility
- Respect for traditions and associations
- Solidarity to help those in need, who in turn should also make an effort to improve their situation
- Ensuring solid public finances
- Preserving a healthy environment
- Pluralist democracy and Social Market Economy
The manifesto also describes the EPP's priorities for the EU including:
- A European Political Union
- Direct election for the President of the European Commission
- Completion of the European single market
- Promote family, improve education and health
- Strengthening of the common immigration and asylum policy and integrating immigrants
- Continue the EU enlargement, enhanced the European Neighbourhood Policy and offer special relationship frameworks to countries that can't or don't want to join the EU
- Defining a true common EU energy policy
- Strengthening European political parties
Electoral manifesto 
As a central part of its 2009 campaign for the European elections, the EPP approved at the April Congress in Warsaw its 'Election Manifesto'. The EPP 2009 election manifesto calls for:
- Creation of new jobs. Continuing reforms and investment in education, lifelong learning and employment in order to create opportunities for everyone.
- Protectionism must be averted. Fiscal and monetary policies must be coordinated.
- Increasing transparency and surveillance on financial markets.
- Making Europe the market leader in green technology.
- Increasing the share of renewable energy to at least 20% of the energy mix by 2020.
- Family-friendly flexibility for working parents. Better childcare and housing must be provided, family-friendly fiscal policies introduced, and parental leave should be encouraged.
- Europe should find a strategy to attract skilled workers from the rest of the world to make Europe’s economy more competitive, more dynamic and more knowledge driven.
The Presidency is the executive body of the party. It decides on the general political guidelines of the Party and presides over the Political Assembly. The Presidency is composed of the president, ten vice-presidents, the honorary presidents, the secretary-general and the treasurer. Besides, the chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, the Presidents of the Commission, the Parliament, the Council and the High Representative (as long as they belong to a member party) are all ex officio vice-presidents.
Since the EPP Congress of 2012 in Bucharest, the presidency is formed by:
- Wilfried Martens – President
- Antonio Lopez-Isturiz White – Secretary-General
- Peter Hintze – Vice-President
- Michel Barnier - Vice-President
- Antonio Tajani – Vice-President
- Johannes Hahn – Vice-President
- Mário David – Vice-President
- Jacek Saryusz-Wolski – Vice-President
- Corien Wortmann-Kool – Vice-President
- Lucinda Creighton – Vice-President
- Tobias Billström – Vice-President
- Anca Boagiu – Vice-President
- Ingo Friedrich – Treasurer
- José Manuel Barroso – Ex-officio Vice-President
- Herman Van Rompuy – Ex-officio Vice-President
- Joseph Daul – Ex-officio Vice-President
- Leo Tindemans – Honorary President
- Sauli Niinistö - Honorary President
Political Assembly 
The Political Assembly defines the political positions of the party between each Congress, deciding on membership applications, political guidelines and budget. The Political Assembly is composed of designated delegates from EPP member and associated member parties, member associations and groups.
The Political Assembly meets at least three times a year.
The Congress is the highest decision-making body of the party and is composed of delegates from EPP member and associated member parties, member associations and groups.
By rule of its statutes, it must meet once every three years, but it also meets normally during the years of elections for the European Parliament (every five years) and extraordinary congresses can be (and have been) summoned. This means that, in fact, the Congress meets more frequently than the three years.
It elects the EPP Presidency (every three years), decides on the main policy documents and electoral programmes and provides a platform for the EPP Heads of Government and party leaders.
The last Congress of the EPP was the Bucharest Congress in October, 2012.
Regularly, a few hours prior to the meeting of the European Council, EPP leaders meet for the EPP Summit in order to form a common position towards the council.
Invitations are sent by the EPP President and attendants include, besides the party presidency, all Presidents and Prime Ministers that are members of the European Council and belong to the EPP; the presidents of the European Parliament, European Commission and European Council as well as the High Representative for Foreign Affairs given that they belong to the EPP; deputy Prime Ministers or other ministers in those cases where the PM of the respective country does not belong to an EPP member party (i.e. coalition governments); and in the case that no EPP member party is part of the government, the leader of the main EPP opposition party is invited.
Ministerial meetings 
Following the pattern of the EPP Summit, for the past years the party has organised on a regular basis EPP Ministerial meetings prior to the meetings of the Council of the European Union with ministers, deputy ministers, secretaries of State and MEPs related to the subject attending.
Currently, the EPP organises a total of twelve Ministerial meetings which are:
- General affairs
- Foreign Affairs
- Economy and Finance
- Home affairs
- Employment and Social Affairs
- Transport 
Other activities 
The EPP also organizes working groups on different issues and on an ad hoc basis, meetings with its affiliated members of the European Commission and it also invites individual Commissioners to the EPP Summit meetings and to EPP Ministerial meetings.
Following the 2007 amendment of the EU Regulation that governs Europarties, the EPP as well as the other Europarties, are responsible for organizing the pan-European campaign for the European elections every five years. According to the Lisbon Treaty, the EPP (like all Europarties) must present, as part of the campaign for the European elections, a candidate for President of the European Commission; the EPP already did this prior to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, by endorsing for a second term Jose Manuel Barroso in April 2009.
Within European institutions 
The EPP holds the Presidencies of two of the three main EU institutions: the European Commission led by President José Manuel Barroso (PSD) and the European Council led by Herman Van Rompuy (CD&V), who was nominated by EPP as its first permanent President.
Overview of the European institutions 
|Organisation||Institution||Number of seats|
|European Union||European Parliament|
|European Union||Committee of the Regions|
|European Union||European Commission|
|European Union||European Council
(Heads of Government)
European Council 
The EPP has 14 out of the 27 heads of State or Government that attend the EPP summits in preparation for the European Council:
|Member State||Representative||Title||Political party||Member of the Council since||Photo|
|Cyprus||Nicos Anastasiades||President||DISY||28 February 2013|
|Finland||Jyrki Katainen||Prime Minister||KOK||22 June 2011|
|Germany||Angela Merkel||Chancellor||CDU||22 November 2005|
|Greece||Antonis Samaras||Prime Minister||ND||20 June 2012|
|Hungary||Viktor Orbán||Minister-President||Fidesz||29 May 2010|
|Ireland||Enda Kenny||Taoiseach[a 1]||Fine Gael||9 March 2011|
|Latvia||Valdis Dombrovskis||Minister-President||V||12 March 2009|
|Luxembourg||Jean-Claude Juncker||Prime Minister||CSV||20 January 1995|
|Poland||Donald Tusk||President of the Council of Ministers||PO||16 November 2007|
|Portugal||Pedro Passos Coelho||Prime Minister||PSD||21 June 2011|
|Romania||Traian Băsescu||President||PD-L||23 May 2007|
|Spain||Mariano Rajoy||President of the Government||PP||21 December 2011|
|Sweden||Fredrik Reinfeldt||Minister of State||Moderaterna||6 October 2006|
The EPP also has other heads of State or Government who do not normally take part in the European Council nor EPP summits since that responsibility belongs to the other leaders of their countries: Rosen Plevneliev (Bulgaria, GERB), János Áder (Hungary, Fidesz), Bronisław Komorowski (Poland, PO), Aníbal Cavaco Silva (Portugal, PSD), Sauli Niinistö (Finland, KOK).
European Commission 
The EPP during its 2009 European elections campaign, re-nominated at its April 2009 Congress in Warsaw José Manuel Barroso as its candidate for re-election as Commission President if it won the elections. Because the EPP won, Barroso's nomination was endorsed by the European Council and was elected by an absolute majority in the European Parliament for a second term.
On 27 November 2009, Barroso unveiled the 'Barroso II Commission' which includes a total of 13 (out of 27) EPP Commissioners.
European Parliament 
In every European election, candidates elected on lists of member-parties of the EPP are obliged to join the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
After presiding over the Parliament with Polish MEP Jerzy Buzek in the first half of the 2009-2014 term, in the second half the EPP Group holds seven of the fourteen vice-presidencies of the European chamber.
National legislatures 
|Country||Institution||Number of seats|
|Belgium||Chamber of Representatives
|Cyprus||House of Representatives|
|Czech Republic||Chamber of Deputies
|Italy||Chamber of Deputies
|Luxembourg||Chamber of Deputies|
|Malta||House of Representatives|
|Netherlands||House of Representatives
|Portugal||Assembly of the Republic|
|Romania||Chamber of Deputies
|Spain||Congress of Deputies
Beyond the European Union 
In third countries 
Through its associate and observer parties, EPP has six Heads of State and Government in European non-EU countries and one of the three members of the Bosnian Presidency, which jointly are the Head of State of the country. They are invited to attend EPP summits and meetings:
|State||Representative||Title||Political party||In power since||Photo|
|Albania||Sali Berisha||Chairman of the Council of Ministers||PD||11 September 2005|
|Armenia||Serzh Sargsyan||President||HHK||9 April 2008|
|Bosnia||Bakir Izetbegović||Bosniak Member of the Presidency||SDA||10 November 2010|
|Macedonia||Nikola Gruevski||Prime Minister||VMRO-DPMNE||27 August 2006|
|Georgia||Mikhail Saakashvili||President||UNM||25 January 2004|
|Moldova||Vlad Filat||Prime Minister||PLDM||25 September 2009|
|Turkey||Recep Tayyip Erdogan||Prime Minister||AKP||14 March 2003|
The party has also other Heads of State and Government but they don't normally attend the meetings since the other leaders of their countries are the ones that attend. They are Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda (Bosnia-Herzegovina, HDZ BiH), President Gjorge Ivanov (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, VMRO-DPMNE), President Bujar Nishani (Albania, PD) and President Abdullah Gul (Turkey, AKP). The same is the case for Doris Leuthard (CVP), member of the Swiss Federal Council and Teodoro Lonfernini (PDCS), one of the two Captain Regents of San Marino.
In the Council of Europe 
The Group of the EPP in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe defends freedom of expression and information, as well as freedom of movement of ideas and religious tolerance. It promotes the principle of subsidiarity and local autonomy, as well as the defence of national, social and other minorities. The EPP/CD Group is led by Italian UDC membre Luca Volontè.
The EPP/CD group comprises also members from parties that are not related to the EPP itself, including members of the Patriotic Union (Liechtenstein), the Progressive Citizens' Party (Liechtenstein), the National and Democratic Union (Monaco) or the Serbian Progressive Party.
In the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe 
The "EPP and like-minded Group" in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) parliamentary assembly is the most active political group of that organization. The Group meets on a regular basis and promotes the EPP positions at levels of decision-making process. The members of the EPP Group also participate in election monitoring missions of the OSCE and are committed in promoting democratic values and practices.
The Group is chaired by Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Sweden) and its Vice Presidents are: Consiglio Di Nino (Canada), Vilija Aleknaitė Abramikiene (Lithuania), Laura Allegrini (Italy) and George Tsereteli (Georgia).
This group also includes members of parties not related to the EPP, therefore the "like-minded" part of the name. Among them are members of the Patriotic Union (Liechtenstein), Union for the Principality (Monaco), the Conervative Party of the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Republican Party of the United States.
In the North Atlantic Treaty Organization 
Following the by-laws of the Party, the EPP is also present in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Parliamentary Assembly (NATO-PA) and forms the “EPP and Associated Members” Group. It is an active political group which is led by German CDU politician Karl Lamers, who is also the current President of the NATO-PA.
Relations within the United States 
The EPP has close relations with the International Republican Institute (IRI), an organization funded by the American government specially to promote democracy and democratization. EPP and IRI cooperate in the framework of the 'European Partnership Initiative'.
In 2011, Martens and McCain have made some joint press statements expressing their concerns on the state of democracy in Ukraine and politically motivated trial against former PM Yulia Tymoshenko.
Global networks 
Centre for European Studies 
Following the 2008 revision of the EU Regulation that governs European political parties allowing the creation of European foundations affiliated to Europarties, the EPP established in the same year its official foundation/think tank, the Centre for European Studies (CES). The CES includes as members all the major national think tanks and foundations affiliated to EPP member parties: Konrad Adenauer Foundation (CDU), Hanns Seidel Foundation (CSU), Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies (PP), Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy (ND), Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (MOD), the Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and others. During the 2009 European elections campaign, the CES launched a successful web-based campaign module 'tellbarroso.eu' to support Jose Manuel Barroso, the EPP candidate, for re-election as Commission President.
The Budapest-based Robert Schuman Institute and the Luxembourg-based Robert Schuman Foundation are also affiliated with the European People's Party.
EPP associations 
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (February 2013)|
EPP is linked to several specific associations which focus in specific groups and which many times, by their own, organise seminars, forums, publications and other activities. Those associations are:
European Democrat Students 
European Democrat Students (EDS) is the official students’ organisation of the EPP. Since it was founded in 1961, EDS brings together students and young political leaders from all over Europe to promote a political exchange.
Although being a students’ organisation, and therefore taking a special interest in topics like the Bologna Process, the organisation is especially aware of the importance of promoting values like freedom, democracy and human rights.
Led by Juraj Antal, the structure has 40 member organisations, representing nearly 1,600,000 students and young people across the continent and currently, it's represented in 31 countries, including non-EU member states like Belarus and Georgia.
EDS is not a centralised organisation, it is an “organisation of organisations”, a networking structure whose general aim is to bundle the power of the various members in order to give young people and students a strong voice.
Every year the organisation hosts Summer and Winter universities and several seminars. It also regularly publishes a magazine called “Bullseye” and campaigns, through various forms, for the interests of young people.
European Senior Citizens' Union 
The ESCU is represented in 26 states with 45 organisations and about 500,000 members and it's dedicated to the advancement of rights of European senior citizens and their engagement in society. The aims of the ESCU are the promotion of the role of the elderly in ageing European societies, the fight against the discrimination of the elderly, the European pension systems, seniors and volunteering, intergenerational relationship and participation.
European Union of Christian Democratic Workers 
The European Union of Christian Democratic Workers (EUCDW) is the workers' organisation of the EPP with 24 member organisations from 18 different countries.
As the officially recognized EPP association of workers, the EUCDW is led by Elmar Brok, MEP, and aims: to press for the political unification of a democratic Europe; to promote the development of the EPP on the basis of Christian-social teaching; to represent and defend worker interests in European Policy; to work for the achievement of Christian-social principles and policies in the European workers' movements; to step up co-operation with the workers and their representatives to realise step by step the European Social Model. Therefore, in the last years, the EUCDW has made a lot of effort in influencing employment policy and defending an undivided Europe of social justice.
Women of the European People’s Party 
The Women of the European People’s Party (EPP Women) is recognised by the EPP as the official association of women from all like-minded political parties of Europe. EPP Women have over 40 member organisations from countries of the European Union and beyond. All member organisations are women‘s organisations from political parties which are members of the EPP.
EPP Women, led by Doris Pack, is dedicated to the advancement of women‘s political participation throughout Europe and to the promotion of important women-related issues.
Youth of the European People’s Party 
The Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP), led by Csaba Dömötör, is EPP‘s official youth organisation, self-governed by its own statutes, political program and elected representatives. YEPP’s members are national partypolitical youth organisations.
The purpose of all 51 member organisations as well as for YEPP is to provide young people a channel in order to influence the shaping of their societies with democratic means and centre-right, Christian Democratic and conservative ideas. Through its member organisations YEPP brings together between one and two million young people in 38 countries of Europe. This makes YEPP the largest party-political youth organisation in Europe.
Within the EPP there are three kinds of members: full members, associate membres and observers.
Full members are all parties from EU states. They have absolute rights to vote in all the organs and on all the matters; meanwhile associate members have the same voting rights except for matters concerning EU structure or policies. These associate membres are parties from EU-candidate countries and EFTA countries.
On the other hand, observer parties can participate in all the activities of the EPP and attend the Congresses and Political Assemblies, but do not have any voting rights.
Finally, there’s a special membership status which are the “supporting members”, which is granted by the Presidency to individuals and associations. Although they do not have voting rights, they can be invited by the President to attend meetings of certain organs of the party.
Full member parties 
This article is part of the series:
|Part of a series on|
|Part of a series on|
- Austrian People's Party (ÖVP)
- Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB)
- Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria
- Union of the Democratic Forces
- Democratic Party
- Agrarian People's Union
- Democratic Rally (DISY)
- Christian Social People's Party (CSV/PSC)
- Democratic Liberal Party (PD-L)
- Christian Democratic National Peasants' Party (PNŢ-CD)
- Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR)
- Christian Democratic Movement (KDH)
- Slovak Democratic and Christian Union – Democratic Party (SDKÚ-DS)
- Party of the Hungarian Coalition (MKP)
Associate members 
- Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE)
Observer members 
- Party of Democratic Action (SDA)
- Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZBiH)
- Party of Democratic Progress (PDP)
- Christian Democrats (KD)
- United National Movement (UNM)
- Christian People's Party (KrF)
- Justice and Development Party (AK PARTİ)
- People's Union "Our Ukraine" (NSNU)
- People's Movement of Ukraine (Rukh)
- All-Ukrainian Union "Fatherland"
- Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
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- "European Partnership Initiative | International Republican Institute". IRI. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Financial Times Article Wilfried Martens". Epp.eu. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "United States Senator John McCain:: Press Office:". Mccain.senate.gov. 30 August 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- "Senator McCain and President Martens urge for the release of Yulia Tymoshenko". Epp.eu. Retrieved 11 September 2011.
- Jansen, Thomas (1998), The European People's Party: Origins and Development, MacMillans
- Jansen, Thomas; Van Hecke, Steven (2011), At Europe's Service: The Origins and Evolution of the European People's Party, Springer
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: European People's Party|
- European People's Party EPP portal site
- EPP YouTube page
- myEPP.eu private social network
- myEPP.tv webtv
- CES the EPP think-tank
- tellBarroso.eu – a 2009 EPP campaign initiative by its think-tank, CES
- EPP Group in the European Parliament
- EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions
- EPP Group in the Council of Europe parliamentary assembly
- EPP Youth (YEPP)
- EPP Students (EDS)
- EPP Women
- EPP Seniors (ESU)
- EPP SME Union
- EPP Workers (EUCDW)