European People's Party (European Parliament Group)
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European People's Party European Parliament Group

European People's Party parliamentary group
European Parliament group
Logo of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
NameEuropean People's Party parliamentary group
English abbr.EPP
(22 June 2009 to present)
French abbr.PPE
(22 June 2009 to present)
Formal nameGroup of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
(22 June 2009 to present)
IdeologyLiberal conservatism[10]
Conservatism[11]
Christian democracy[10][11]
Pro-Europeanism
Political positionCentre-right[12][13]
European partiesEuropean People's Party
From11 September 1952
(unofficially)[14]
23 June 1953
(officially)[14]
Topresent
Chaired byManfred Weber[15]
MEP(s)
Websitewww.eppgroup.eu

The European People's Party group (EPP Group) is a centre-right political group of the European Parliament consisting of deputies (MEPs) from the member parties of the European People's Party (EPP). It sometimes includes independent MEPs and/or deputies from unaffiliated national parties.[16][17][18]. The EPP Group comprises politicians of Christian-democratic, conservative and liberal-conservative orientation.[19][20][21]

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. It has been the largest political group in the European Parliament since 1999.

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[22] and the first Christian Democratic group was unofficially formed the next day, with Maan Sassen as President.[14][23] The group held 38 of the 78 seats, two short of an absolute majority.[14][24] On 16 June 1953 the Common Assembly passed a resolution[25] enabling the official formation of political groups, and on 23 June 1953 the constituent declaration[26] of the group was published and the group was officially formed.[14][24]

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.[27] 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.[27]

This policy led to Greek New Democracy and Spanish People's Party MEPs joining the EPP Group.[27] 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.[27] 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.[]

Meanwhile, the parties in the European Democrats subgroup were growing restless[28] 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. The United Kingdom was the only member to not be represented in the group until 28 February 2018, when two MEPs suspended from the Conservative Party left the European Conservatives and Reformists and joined the EPP.[29] The two MEPs later joined a breakaway political party in the UK, The Independent Group.[30]

After 12 member parties in the EPP called for Fidesz's expulsion or suspension, Fidesz's membership was suspended on 20 March 2019.[31] The suspension applies only to the EPP but not to its group in the Parliament.[32]

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 [34]
Arnaud Danjean Vice-Chair [35]
Esther de Lange Vice-Chair [35]
Esteban González Pons Vice-Chair [35]
Sandra Kalniete Vice-Chair [35]
Andrey Kovatchev Vice-Chair [35]
Vangelis Meimarakis Vice-Chair [35]
Siegfried Mure?an Vice-Chair [35]
Jan Olbrycht Vice-Chair [35]
Paulo Rangel Vice-Chair [35]

The chairs of the group and its predecessors from 1952 to 2020 are as follows:

Membership

9th European Parliament

The EPP Group has MEPs from each of the 27 member states. The national parties that have Members of the EPP Group are as follows:

Country Party European party MEPs
 Austria Austrian People's Party
Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP)
EPP
 Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish
Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams (CD&V)
EPP
Humanist Democratic Centre
Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH)
EPP
Christian Social Party
Christlich Soziale Partei (CSP)
EPP
 Bulgaria Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria
? (GERB)
EPP
Union of Democratic Forces
? ? (SDS)
EPP
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria
(DSB)
EPP
 Croatia Croatian Democratic Union
Hrvatska demokratska zajednica (HDZ)
EPP
 Cyprus Democratic Rally
? (DISY)
EPP
 Czech Republic Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party
K?es?anská a demokratická unie - ?eskoslovenská strana lidová (KDU-?SL)
EPP
TOP 09 EPP
Mayors and Independents
Starostové a nezávislí (STAN)
None
 Denmark Conservative People's Party
Konservative Folkeparti (KF)
EPP
 Estonia Isamaa EPP
 Finland National Coalition Party
Kansallinen Kokoomus (KK)
EPP
 France The Republicans
Les Républicains (LR)
EPP
The Centrists
Les Centristes (LC)
None
 Germany Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU)
EPP
Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e.V. (CSU)
EPP
 Greece New Democracy
? (ND)
EPP
 Hungary Fidesz EPP (suspended)
Christian Democratic People's Party
Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (KDNP)
EPP
 Ireland Fine Gael
(FG)
EPP
 Italy Forza Italia EPP
South Tyrolean People's Party
Südtiroler Volkspartei (SVP)
EPP
 Latvia Unity
Vienot?ba
EPP
 Lithuania Homeland Union
T?vyn?s S?junga (TS-LKD)
EPP
Au?ra Maldeikien? (Independent) Independent
 Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party
Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei (CSV)
EPP
 Malta Nationalist Party
Partit Nazzjonalista (PN)
EPP
 Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal
Christen-Democratisch Appèl (CDA)
EPP
Christian Union
ChristenUnie (CU)
ECPM
50PLUS (50+) None
 Poland Civic Platform
Platforma Obywatelska (PO)
EPP
Polish People's Party
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (PSL)
EPP
Janina Ochojska, Magdalena Adamowicz (Independent) Independent
 Portugal Social Democratic Party
Partido Social Democrata (PSD)
EPP
Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party
Centro Democrático e Social - Partido Popular (CDS-PP)
EPP
 Romania National Liberal Party
Partidul Na?ional Liberal (PNL)
EPP
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania
Uniunea Democrat? Maghiar? din România (UDMR)
EPP
People's Movement Party
Partidul Mi?carea Popular? (PMP)
EPP
 Slovakia TOGETHER - Civic Democracy
SPOLU - ob?ianska demokracia (SPOLU)
None
Christian Democratic Movement
Kres?anskodemokratické Hnutie (KDH)
EPP
Ordinary People and Independent Personalities
Oby?ajní ?udia a nezávislé osobnosti (O?aNO)
None
 Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party
Slovenska Demokratska Stranka (SDS)
EPP
New Slovenia - Christian Democrats
Nova Slovenija - Kranski demokrati (NSi)
EPP
Slovenian People's Party
Slovenska ljudska stranka (SLS)
EPP
 Spain People's Party
Partido Popular (PP)
EPP
 Sweden Moderate Party
Moderata Samlingspartiet (M)
EPP
Christian Democrats
Kristdemokraterna (KD)
EPP
 European Union
Total

7th and 8th European Parliament

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 ?
(Grazhdani za Evropeysko Razvitie na Balgariya)
Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria 5 Increase 6
? ?
(Sayuz na Demokratichnite Sili)
Union of Democratic Forces 1 Decrease 0

(Demokrati za Silna Balgariya)
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria 1 Steady 1
 Croatia Hrvatska demokratska zajednica Croatian Democratic Union 4 Steady 4
Hrvatska selja?ka stranka Croatian Peasant Party 1 Steady 1
 Cyprus Greek: ?
(Dimokratikós Sinayermós)
Democratic Rally 2 Decrease 1
 Czech Republic K?es?anská a demokratická unie - ?eskoslovenská 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[36] -- Increase 1
 Denmark Det Konservative Folkeparti Conservative People's Party 1 Steady 1
 Estonia Erakond Isamaa Pro Patria 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 ?
(Néa Dimokratiá)
New Democracy 7 Decrease 5
 Hungary Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt Christian Democratic People's Party 1 Steady 1
 Ireland Fine Gael Fine Gael 4 Steady 4
 Italy Forza Italia (2013) 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 Vienot?ba Unity 4 Steady 4
 Lithuania T?vyn?s S?junga - Lietuvos Krikionys 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
 Romania Partidul Na?ional Liberal National Liberal Party 12 Decrease 8
Hungarian: Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség
Romanian: Uniunea Democrat? Maghiar? din România
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania 3 Decrease 2
Partidul Mi?carea Popular? People's Movement Party -- --
-- Independent -- Increase 2
 Slovakia Kres?anskodemokratické Hnutie Christian Democratic Movement 2 Increase 3
Strana Ma?arskej Koalície - Magyar Koalício Pártja Party of the Hungarian Community 2 Decrease 1
Most-Híd Most-Híd -- Increase 1
-- Independent -- Increase 1
 Slovenia Slovenska Demokratska Stranka Slovenian Democratic Party 3 Steady 3
Nova Slovenija - Kranska 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 'Change UK' Change UK (defection from Conservative Party/ECR)[37] 0 Increase 1
-- Renew Party (defection from Conservative Party/ECR)[38] 0 Increase 1
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[39] and the Ukraine;[40] encouraging transeuropean rail travel,[41] telecoms deregulation,[42] energy security,[43] a common energy policy,[44] the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Union,[45] partial reform of the CAP[46] and attempts to tackle illegal immigration;[47][48][49] denouncing Russian involvement in South Ossetia;[50][51][52][53][54] supporting the Constitution Treaty[55][56][57] and the Lisbon Treaty;[58][59] debating globalisation,[44][60] relations with China,[61] and Taiwan;[62] backing plans to outlaw Holocaust denial;[63] nominating Anna Politkovskaya for the 2007 Sakharov Prize;[64] expelling Daniel Hannan from the Group;[65] the discussion about whether ED MEPs should remain within EPP-ED or form a group of their own;[66][67][68] criticisms of the group's approach to tackling low turnout for the 2009 elections;[69] the group's use of the two-President arrangement;[70] 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[71] and categorised 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.[]

Publications

The group produces many publications, which can be found on its website.[72] 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

The group has been characterised 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). The group as a whole is described 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


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