Joseph Daul

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Joseph Daul
Joseph Daul par Claude Truong-Ngoc octobre 2013.jpg
President of the European People's Party
Incumbent
Assumed office
12 November 2013
Preceded by Wilfried Martens
Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
In office
9 January 2007 – 4 June 2014
Preceded by Hans-Gert Pöttering
Succeeded by Manfred Weber
Personal details
Born (1947-04-13) 13 April 1947 (age 67)
Strasbourg, France
Political party Union for a Popular Movement
Alma mater Institute of Advanced Studies in National Defence

Joseph Daul (born 13 April 1947 in Strasbourg) is a French politician and Member of the European Parliament for the East of France. He is a member of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), a member-party of the European People's Party (EPP). On 9 January 2007 he was elected Chairman of the EPP Group (at the time EPP-ED Group) in the European Parliament, replacing Hans-Gert Pöttering, who was elected as the new President of the European Parliament. On 12 November 2013, Daul was elected President of the European People's Party, succeeding the late Wilfried Martens.

Daul had previously come to prominence as the Chairman of the European Parliament's powerful Committee on Agriculture, a position he was elected to on 23 July 2004, and previously, from 2002, as chairman of the Conference of Committee Chairmen. He has been Mayor of Pfettisheim (Bas-Rhin) since 1989, and is an Officer of the Agricultural Order of Merit, Knight of the National Order of Merit and Knight of the Légion d'honneur.

In addition to French he speaks standard German and Alsatian, the German dialect spoken in his native region.

Professional life and other activities[edit]

Joseph Daul comes from a large family (six brothers and sisters) and at the age of 20 he took over a small family farm of 7 ha which he has since managed with his wife and, for the last few years, his son. While the operation has grown to 75 ha, it is still family run and specialises in beef production and the cultivation of sugar beet. Daul became active in the agricultural trade union movement, through the Centre National des Jeunes Agriculteurs (CNJA - National Centre for Young Farmers). He completed his professional training and general education and in 1976 he was appointed national Vice-Chairman of the CNJA with responsibility for European affairs. Daul also became a member of the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA) and of the European Economic and Social Committee in Brussels.

At the age of 35 he continued his trade union activities beyond the youth sector and combined his professional life as a farmer with positions of responsibility at a regional, (professional organisations, cooperatives, Chamber of Agriculture), national and European levels.

In 1997, when the 'mad cow' crisis arose, he was chair of the National Federation of Beef Producers in France and of the 'beef' group in Europe. These activities, together with his experience as mayor of his town (1000 inhabitants) led to a more active role in politics when, in 1999, he was asked to represent the farming and rural communities on the RPR list under Nicolas Sarkozy. Daul also became deputy Mayor in his home town, Vice-President of the Community of Councils and Chairman of the Strasbourg Abattoir Management Cooperative (160 employees).

Responsibilities within the European Parliament[edit]

After having been elected in 1999, he joined the then EPP-ED Group, now EPP Group. Daul became a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, appointed chairman in January 2002.

In 2002, Joseph Daul was appointed chairman of the Conference of Committee Chairmen, which is responsible for coordinating 'horizontal' issues affecting the 20 parliamentary committees and for preparing the draft agenda for the plenary part-sessions. As part of the reform of the European Parliament, the Conference put forward proposals for making its work more efficient. Daul also co-chaired, together with the committee chairmen concerned, the hearings of the Commissioners and transmitted the conclusions to the President of the European Parliament.

Finally, in 2005 and 2006, he and Socialist MEP Richard Corbett were Parliament's representatives for a new round of negotiations with the Council and Commission on comitology, giving Parliament, for the first time, the right to block the adoption of Commission implementing measures.

The 'Lisbon Strategy' Group headed by Joseph Daul explored questions of employment and in this capacity Daul co-chaired two meetings in 2005 and 2006 between the European Parliament and the national parliaments. As a member of the European Parliament Delegation for the WTO negotiations, Daul formed part of the European Parliament delegation to the ministerial conferences in Seattle (1999), Doha (2001) and Cancun (2003). He was involved in the preparatory work for the ministerial conferences by regularly meeting ambassadors in Geneva in order to represent the position of the European Parliament.

In January 2007, he was elected Chairman of the EPP Group. He remains member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development and substitute member of the Committee on International Trade and of the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly. He is also chairman of the European Parliamentary Association (EPA).

On 12 November 2013, Daul is elected President of the European People's Party, succeeding the late Wilfried Martens, while also remaining Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

Allegations of fraud[edit]

Joseph Daul was under investigation for misuse of public funds in France. He was part of an inquiry into the diversion of €16 million (£10.6 million) of agricultural money in the 1990s that has also ensnared three former agriculture ministers. He was placed under investigation in 2004 for allegedly diverting money to finance the farmers' union, the FNSEA, and to pay his own staff. He was not accused of benefiting personally but of "complicity and concealment of the abuse of public funds".[1] On 8 August 2007, the court had however asked that all charges against him be dropped, stating that the cases made against him did not require legal punishment.[2]

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External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Hans-Gert Pöttering
Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
2007–2014
Succeeded by
Manfred Weber
Preceded by
Wilfried Martens
President of the European People's Party
2013–present
Incumbent