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European People's Party group

European People's Party parliamentary group
European parliamentary group
Logo of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
Name European People's Party parliamentary group
English abbr.

EPP
(22 June 2009 to present)

EPP-ED[1]
(20 July 1999[2] to 22 June 2009)

EPP[1]
(17 July 1979[3]

to 20 July 1999[2])

CD[2]
(23 June 1953[3] to 17 July 1979[3])
French abbr. PPE
(22 June 2009 to present)

PPE-DE[4]
(20 July 1999[2] to 22 June 2009)

PPE[3]
(17 July 1979[3] to 20 July 1999[2])

DC[3]
(23 June 1953[3] to 17 July 1979[3])
Formal name Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
(22 June 2009 to present)

Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats[4][5][6]
(20 July 1999[2] to 22 June 2009)

Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)[3][7][8]
(17 July 1979[3] to 20 July 1999[2])

Christian Democratic Group (Group of the European People's Party)[3][8]
(14 March 1978[3] to 17 July 1979[3])

Christian Democratic Group[2][8]
(23 June 1953[3] to 14 March 1978[3])
Ideology Christian democracy[9]
European federalism
Liberal conservatism[9]
Pro-Europeanism
European parties European People's Party
From

11 September 1952
(unofficially)[10]

23 June 1953
(officially)[10]
To present
Chaired by Manfred Weber[11]
MEP(s)
217 / 751
Website [www.eppgroup.eu]

The European People's Party group (EPP Group) is the political group in the European Parliament consisting of deputies (MEPs) from the member parties of the European People's Party (EPP).[12][13][14] In this respect, there is a distinction between the European People's Party itself (a European-level party of centre-right national political parties from across Europe) and the EPP Group in the European Parliament. The EPP mostly comprises politicians of Christian democratic, conservative and liberal-conservative orientation.[15][16][17]

The European People's Party was officially founded as a European political party in 1976. However, the European People's Party group in the European Parliament has existed in one form or another since June 1953, from the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, making it one of the oldest European level political groups. Its size has given it influence in all the EU's institutions. It has been the largest political group in the European Parliament since 1999. In the European Council, 9 out of 28 Heads of State and Government belong to the EPP family and in the European Commission, 13 out of 27 Commissioners come from EPP parties.

History

The Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (the predecessor of the present day European Parliament) first met on 10 September 1952[18] and the first Christian Democratic group was unofficially formed the next day, with Maan Sassen as President.[10][19] The group held 38 of the 78 seats, two short of an absolute majority.[10][20] On 16 June 1953 the Common Assembly passed a resolution[21] enabling the official formation of political groups, and on 23 June 1953 the constituent declaration[22] of the group was published and the group was officially formed.[10][20]

The Christian Democrat group was the biggest group at formation, but as time wore on it lost support and was the second-biggest group by the time of the 1979 elections. As the European Community expanded into the European Union, the dominant centre-right parties in the new member states were not necessarily Christian democratic, and the EPP (European People's Party, the pan-continental political party founded in 1976 which all group members are now affiliated to) feared being sidelined.[23] To counter this, the EPP expanded its remit to cover the centre-right regardless of tradition and pursued a policy of integrating liberal-conservative parties.[23]

This policy led to Greek New Democracy and Spanish People's Party MEPs joining the EPP Group.[23] The British Conservative Party and Danish Conservative People's Party tried to maintain a group of their own called the European Democrats (ED), but lack of support and the problems inherent in maintaining a small group forced ED's collapse in the 1990s, and its members crossed the floor to join the EPP Group.[23] The parties of these MEPs also became full members of the EPP (with the exception of the British Conservatives who did not join the Party) and this consolidation process of the European centre-right throughout the 1990s with the acquisition of members from the Italian party Forza Italia. However, the consolidation was not unalloyed and a split emerged with the Eurosceptic MEPs who congregated in a subgroup within the group, also called the European Democrats (ED).

Nevertheless, the consolidation held through the 1990s, assisted by the group being renamed to the European People's Party – European Democrats (EPP-ED) group, and after the 1999 European elections the EPP-ED reclaimed its position as the largest group in the Parliament from the Party of European Socialists (PES) group.

Size was not enough, however: the group did not have a majority. It continued therefore to engage in the Grand Coalition (a coalition with the PES Group, or occasionally the Liberals) to generate the majorities required by the cooperation procedure under the Single European Act. This coalition has held, although occasionally the group adopts a government-opposition dynamic with the other groups, notably during the budget crisis when it opposed the PES and brought about the resignation of the Santer Commission.[citation needed]

Meanwhile, the parties in the European Democrats subgroup were growing restless[24] and finally left following the 2009 elections, when the Czech Civic Democratic Party and British Conservative party formed their own right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group on 22 June 2009, abolishing the European Democrats subgroup from that date. The EPP-ED Group reverted to its original name – the EPP Group – immediately.

In the 7th European Parliament the EPP Group remains the largest parliamentary group with 275 MEPs. It is currently the only political group in the European parliament to fully represent its corresponding European political party, i.e. the European People's Party. Up until 28th February 2018, the United Kingdom was the only member to not be represented in the group. However, following this Two MEPs from the Conservative Party left the European Conservatives and Reformists and joined the EPP [25].

Logo of European People's Party Group from 1999 to 2015.

Membership at formation

The 38 members in the group on 11 September 1952 were as follows:

Structure

Organisation

The EPP Group is governed by a collective (referred to as the Presidency) that allocates tasks. The Presidency consists of the Group Chair and a maximum of ten Vice-Chairs, including the Treasurer. The day-to-day running of the EPP Group is performed by its secretariat in the European Parliament, led by its Secretary-General. The Group runs its own think-tank, the European Ideas Network, which brings together opinion-formers from across Europe to discuss issues facing the European Union from a centre-right perspective.

The EPP Group Presidency includes:

Name Position Sources
Manfred Weber Chair [27]
Lara Comi Vice-Chair [28]
Esther de Lange Vice-Chair [28]
Mariya Gabriel Vice-Chair [28]
Esteban González Pons Vice-Chair [28]
Françoise Grossetête Vice-Chair [28]
Sandra Kalniete Vice-Chair [28]
Marian-Jean Marinescu Vice-Chair [28]
Paulo Rangel Vice-Chair [28]
József Szájer Vice-Chair [28]
Tadeusz Zwiefka Vice-Chair [28]

The chairs of the group and its predecessors from 1952 to 18 September 2008 are as follows:


From

To

Chair

Member State

National party
1953 1958 Maan Sassen  Netherlands Catholic People's Party
1958 1958 Pierre Wigny  Belgium Christian Social Party
1958 1966 Alain Poher  France Popular Republican Movement
1966 1969 Joseph Illerhaus  West Germany Christian Democratic Union
1969 1975 Hans Lücker  West Germany Christian Democratic Union
1975 1977 Alfred Bertrand  Belgium Christian People's Party
1977 1982 Egon Klepsch  West Germany Christian Democratic Union
1982 1984 Paolo Barbi  Italy Christian Democracy
1984 1992 Egon Klepsch  West Germany/ Germany Christian Democratic Union
1992 1994 Leo Tindemans  Belgium Christian People's Party
1994 1999 Wilfried Martens  Belgium Christian People's Party
1999 2007 Hans-Gert Pöttering  Germany Christian Democratic Union
2007 2014 Joseph Daul  France Union for a Popular Movement
2014 present Manfred Weber  Germany Christian Social Union in Bavaria

Membership

The national parties that have Members of the EPP Group are as follows:

The EPP Group has MEPs from all but one member state.

Country

Names

Names (English)

MEPs 2009–14

MEPs 2014–19
 Austria Österreichische Volkspartei Austrian People's Party 6 Decrease 5
 Belgium Dutch: Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams Christian Democratic and Flemish 3 Decrease 2
French: Centre Démocrate Humaniste Humanist Democratic Centre 1 Steady 1
German: Christlich Soziale Partei Christian Social Party* 1 Steady 1
 Bulgaria Граждани за европейско развитие на България
(Grazhdani za Evropeysko Razvitie na Balgariya)
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria 5 Increase 6
Съюз на демократичните сили
(Sayuz na Demokratichnite Sili)
Union of Democratic Forces 1 Decrease 0
Демократи за силна България
(Demokrati za Silna Balgariya)
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria 1 Steady 1
 Croatia Hrvatska demokratska zajednica Croatian Democratic Union 4 Steady 4
Hrvatska seljačka stranka Croatian Peasant Party 1 Steady 1
 Cyprus Greek: Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός
(Dimokratikós Sinayermós)
Democratic Rally 2 Decrease 1
 Czech Republic Křesťanská a demokratická unie - Československá strana lidová Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party 2 Increase 3
TOP 09 TOP 09 Increase 3
Starostové a nezávislí Mayors and Independents[29] Increase 1
 Denmark Det Konservative Folkeparti Conservative People's Party 1 Steady 1
 Estonia Erakond Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit Pro Patria and Res Publica Union 1 Steady 1
 Finland Kansallinen Kokoomus National Coalition Party 3 Steady 3
Suomen kristillisdemokraatit Christian Democrats 1 Decrease 0
 France Les Républicains The Republicans 27 Decrease 18
Union des Démocrates et Indépendants Union of Democrats and Independents 6 Decrease 0
Independent Increase 2
 Germany Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands Christian Democratic Union 34 Decrease 29
Christlich-Soziale Union In Bayern e.V. Christian Social Union of Bavaria 8 Decrease 5
 Greece Νέα Δημοκρατία
(Néa Dimokratiá)
New Democracy 7 Decrease 5
 Hungary Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Szövetség Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union 13 Decrease 11
Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt Christian Democratic People's Party 1 Steady 1
 Ireland Fine Gael 4 Steady 4
 Italy Forza Italia 19 Decrease 12
Alternativa Popolare Popular Alternative Increase 1
Unione di Centro Union of the Centre 6 Decrease 1
German: Südtiroler Volkspartei South Tyrolean People's Party 1 Steady 1
 Latvia Vienotība Unity 4 Steady 4
 Lithuania Tėvynės Sąjunga – Lietuvos Krikščionys Demokratai Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats 4 Decrease 2
Independent Increase 1
 Luxembourg Luxembourgish: Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei
French: Parti Populaire Chrétien Social
German: Christlich Soziale Volkspartei
Christian Social People's Party 3 Steady 3
 Malta Partit Nazzjonalista Nationalist Party 2 Increase 3
 Netherlands Christen-Democratisch Appèl Christian Democratic Appeal 5 Steady 5
 Poland Platforma Obywatelska Civic Platform 25 Decrease 18
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe Polish People's Party 4 Steady 4
 Portugal Partido Social Democrata Social Democratic Party 8 Decrease 6
Centro Democrático e Social – Partido Popular Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party 2 Decrease 1
Movimento Partido da Terra Earth Party Increase 1
 Romania Partidul Național Liberal National Liberal Party 12 Decrease 8
Hungarian: Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség
Romanian: Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania 3 Decrease 2
Partidul Mișcarea Populară People's Movement Party Increase 1
Independent Increase 2
 Slovakia Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie Christian Democratic Movement 2 Increase 3
Strana Maďarskej Koalície – Magyar Koalício Pártja Party of the Hungarian Coalition 2 Decrease 1
Most–Híd Increase 1
Independent Increase 1
 Slovenia Slovenska Demokratska Stranka Slovenian Democratic Party 3 Steady 3
Nova Slovenija – Krščanska Ljudska Stranka New Slovenia – Christian People's Party 1 Steady 1
Slovenska ljudska stranka Slovenian People's Party Increase 1
 Spain Spanish: Partido Popular People's Party 24 Decrease 16
Independent Increase 1
 Sweden Moderata Samlingspartiet Moderate Party 4 Decrease 3
Kristdemokraterna Christian Democrats 1 Steady 1
 United Kingdom Conservative Party Conservative Party (defections, not approved by party[30]) 0 Increase 2
Total 274 219

Activities

In the news

Activities performed by the group in the period between June 2004 and June 2008 include monitoring elections in Palestine[31] and the Ukraine;[32] encouraging transeuropean rail travel,[33] telecoms deregulation,[34] energy security,[35] a common energy policy,[36] the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Union,[37] partial reform of the CAP[38] and attempts to tackle illegal immigration;[39][40][41] denouncing Russian involvement in South Ossetia;[42][43][44][45][46] supporting the Constitution Treaty[47][48][49] and the Lisbon Treaty;[50][51] debating globalisation,[36][52] relations with China,[53] and Taiwan;[54] backing plans to outlaw Holocaust denial;[55] nominating Anna Politkovskaya for the 2007 Sakharov Prize;[56] expelling Daniel Hannan from the Group;[57] the discussion about whether ED MEPs should remain within EPP-ED or form a group of their own;[58][59][60] criticisms of the group's approach to tackle low turnout for the 2009 elections[61]; the group's use of the two-President arrangement;[62] and the group's proposal to ban the Islamic Burka dress EU wide

Parliamentary activity profile

Group parliamentary activity profile, 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2008 (see description for sources).
  EPP-ED: 659 motions

The debates and votes in the European Parliament are tracked by its website[63] and categorized by the groups that participate in them and the rule of procedure that they fall into. The results give a profile for each group by category and the total indicates the group's level of participation in Parliamentary debates. The activity profile for each group for the period 1 August 2004 to 1 August 2008 in the Sixth Parliament is given on the diagram on the right. The group is denoted in blue.

The website shows the group as participating in 659 motions, making it the third most active group during the period.[citation needed]

Publications

The group produces many publications, which can be found on its website.[64] Documents produced in 2008 cover subjects such as dialogue with the Orthodox Church, study days, its strategy for 2008-09, Euro-Mediterranean relations, and the Treaty of Lisbon. It also publishes a yearbook and irregularly publishes a presentation, a two-page summary of the group.

Academic analysis

Along with the other political groups, the group has been analysed by academics on its positions regarding various issues. Those positions are summarised in this article. That article characterizes the group as a three-quarter male group that, prior to ED's departure, was only 80% cohesive and split between centre-right Europhiles (the larger EPP subgroup) and right-wing Eurosceptics (the smaller ED subgroup). That article characterized the group as a whole as ambiguous on hypothetical EU taxes, against taxation, Green issues, social liberal issues (LGBT rights, abortion, euthanasia) and full Turkish accession to the European Union, and for a deeper Federal Europe, deregulation, the Common Foreign and Security Policy and controlling migration into the EU.

See also

References

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External links