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The European People's Party (EPP) is a centre-right European political party. Founded in 1976, the EPP has 72 member-parties from 39 countries, 13 EU and 6 non-EU heads of government, 10 European Commissioners (including the President), and the largest group in the European Parliamentmarker with 265 members.


EPP traces its ancestry to 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.

EPP manifesto

The EPP 2009 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.



Its current President is former Belgian Prime Minister Wilfried Martens. Martens was re-elected President at the March 2006 EPP Congress in Rome for a 3-year term. In the same Congress, French Minister Michel Barnier (UMP), Finnish Deputy Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen (KOK), former Slovenian Prime Minister Lojze Peterle (NSi), former Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán (Fidesz), German State Secretary Peter Hintze (CDU), Irish opposition leader Enda Kenny (FG) and Chairman of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee Jacek Saryusz-Wolski (PO) were elected as EPP Vice-Presidents. Also, the Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament - currently Joseph Daul - is an ex officio EPP Vice-President.


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."

By invitation of the EPP President, the President of the European Commissionmarker, the President of the European Parliamentmarker and the EPP heads of government (or leaders of the opposition) customarily meet a few hours prior to the Summit of the European Council at the 'Académie Royale' in Brussels for the EPP Summit to form common positions.

In the European institutions

The EPP currently holds the Presidencies of all three main EU institutions: the European Commissionmarker led by President José Manuel Barroso (PSD), the European Parliamentmarker led by President Jerzy Buzek (PO), and the European Council led by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (MSP). On November 19, 2009, the 27 heads of state and government of the European Council nominated the EPP candidate, Herman Van Rompuy (CD&V), as its first permanent President.

European Council

The EPP currently has 13 out of the 27 heads of State or Government in the European Council:

In January 2010, the European Council will be led by the EPP nominee, Herman Van Rompuy (CD&V), as its first President.

The EPP also has 5 heads of State or Government who do not normally take part in the European Council since that responsibility belongs to the other leaders of their countries: Aníbal Cavaco Silva (Portugal, PSD), François Fillon (France, UMP), Horst Köhler (Germany, CDU), Edward Fenech Adami (Malta, PN) and Traian Băsescu (Romania, PD-L).

European Commission

The EPP during its 2009 European elections campaign, re-nominated at its April 2009 Congress in Warsaw Jose 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 November 27, 2009, Barroso unveiled the 'Barroso II Commission' which includes a total of 13 (out of 27) EPP Commissioners (pending confirmation by the European Parliament in January 2010):

European Parliament

In the European Parliamentmarker the EPP has the largest parliamentary group - the EPP Group - with 265 MEPs. 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. In the current parliamentary term, the EPP is the only Europarty that has a fully corresponding parliamentary group. According to the statutes of the EPP, the Chairman of the EPP Group is an ex officio Vice President of the EPP.

Beyond the EU

EPP, through its associate parties, also has 6 heads of State or Government from non-EU countries: Jadranka Kosor (Croatia, HDZ), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Turkey, AKP), Sali Berisha (Albania, DP), Nikola Gruevski (Macedonia, VMRO-DPMNE), Viktor Yushchenko (Ukraine, NSNU) & Yulia Tymoshenko (Ukraine, Fatherland) and Mikheil Saakashvili (Georgia, UNM).

EPP also has parliamentary groups in the parliamentary assemblies of the Council of Europe, Chaired by Luc Van den Brande (Belgium, CD&V), and the OSCE, Chaired by Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Sweden, MSP).

In recent years, the EPP has been developing beyond Europe bilateral relations with major conservative and like-minded parties. Due its firm transatlantic orientation, North America has been a particular focus of the Party's international activities.

The EPP is recognized as a regional organization of two centre-right global multilateral organizations: the Christian Democrat International (CDI) and the International Democrat Union (IDU). EPP is also a member of the European Movement international.

EPP's Official Think Tank

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 FAES (PP), Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy (ND), Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (MOD), and others. During the 2009 European elections campaign, the CES launched a successful web-based campaign module '' to support Jose Manuel Barroso, the EPP candidate, for re-election as Commission President.

Member parties

Associate members

Observer members


External links

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