European People's Party group
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. The EPP Group comprises politicians of Christian-democratic, conservative and liberal-conservative orientation.
|European People's Party parliamentary group|
|European Parliament group|
|Name||European People's Party parliamentary group|
(22 June 2009 to present)
(22 June 2009 to present)
|Formal name||Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)|
(22 June 2009 to present)
|European parties||European People's Party|
|From||11 September 1952|
23 June 1953
|Chaired by||Manfred Weber|
175 / 705
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.
The Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (the predecessor of the present day European Parliament) first met on 10 September 1952 and the first Christian Democratic group was unofficially formed the next day, with Maan Sassen as President. The group held 38 of the 78 seats, two short of an absolute majority. On 16 June 1953 the Common Assembly passed a resolution enabling the official formation of political groups, and on 23 June 1953 the constituent declaration of the group was published and the group was officially formed.
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. 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.
This policy led to Greek New Democracy and Spanish People's Party MEPs joining the EPP Group. 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. 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 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. The two MEPs later joined a breakaway political party in the UK, The Independent Group.
After twelve member parties in the EPP called for Hungary's Fidesz's expulsion or suspension, Fidesz's membership was suspended with a common agreement on 20 March 2019. The suspension was applied only to the EPP but not to its group in the Parliament. On 3 March 2021, Fidesz decided to leave the EPP group, after the group's new rules, however still kept their membership in the party. On 18 March 2021, Fidesz decided to leave the European People's Party.
Membership at formation
The 38 members in the group on 11 September 1952 were as follows:
|Belgium||5||Christian Social Party||5||
|France||5||Christian People's Party (Saar)||2||
|Republican People's Movement||3|
|Germany||8||Christian Democratic Union
and Christian Social Union
|Federal Union Party||1|
|Luxembourg||2||Christian Social People's Party||2||
|Catholic People's Party||3||
|Christian Historical Union||1||
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:
The chairs of the group and its predecessors from 1952 to 2020 are as follows:
|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|
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:
|Austria||Austrian People's Party
Österreichische Volkspartei (ÖVP)
7 / 19
|Belgium||Christian Democratic and Flemish
Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams (CD&V)
2 / 21
|Humanist Democratic Centre
Centre Démocrate Humaniste (CDH)
1 / 21
|Christian Social Party
Christlich Soziale Partei (CSP)
1 / 21
|Bulgaria||Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria
Граждани за европейско развитие на България (GERB)
5 / 17
|Union of Democratic Forces
Съюз на демократичните сили (SDS)
1 / 17
|Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria
Демократи за силна България (DSB)
1 / 17
|Croatia||Croatian Democratic Union
Hrvatska demokratska zajednica (HDZ)
4 / 12
Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός (DISY)
2 / 6
|Czech Republic||Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party
Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová (KDU–ČSL)
2 / 21
|Tradition Responsibility Prosperity 09
Tradice Odpovědnost Prosperita 09 (TOP 09)
2 / 21
|Mayors and Independents
Starostové a nezávislí (STAN)
1 / 21
|Denmark||Conservative People's Party
Konservative Folkeparti (KF)
1 / 14
1 / 7
|Finland||National Coalition Party
Kansallinen Kokoomus (KK)
3 / 14
Les Républicains (LR)
7 / 79
Les Centristes (LC)
1 / 79
|Germany||Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands (CDU)
23 / 96
|Christian Social Union of Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e.V. (CSU)
6 / 96
Νέα Δημοκρατία (ND)
8 / 21
|Hungary||Christian Democratic People's Party
Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt (KDNP)
1 / 21
|Ireland||Fine Gael (United Ireland)
Fine Gael (FG)
5 / 13
7 / 76
|South Tyrolean People's Party
Südtiroler Volkspartei (SVP)
1 / 76
2 / 8
Tėvynės Sąjunga (TS-LKD)
3 / 11
|Aušra Maldeikienė (Independent)||Independent|
1 / 11
|Luxembourg||Christian Social People's Party
Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei (CSV)
2 / 6
Partit Nazzjonalista (PN)
2 / 6
|Netherlands||Christian Democratic Appeal
Christen-Democratisch Appèl (CDA)
4 / 29
1 / 29
1 / 29
Platforma Obywatelska (PO)
12 / 52
|Polish People's Party
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe (PSL)
3 / 52
|Janina Ochojska, Magdalena Adamowicz (Independent)||Independent|
2 / 52
|Portugal||Social Democratic Party
Partido Social Democrata (PSD)
6 / 21
|Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party
Centro Democrático e Social – Partido Popular (CDS–PP)
1 / 21
|Romania||National Liberal Party
Partidul Național Liberal (PNL)
10 / 33
|Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania
Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România (UDMR)
2 / 33
|People's Movement Party
Partidul Mișcarea Populară (PMP)
2 / 33
|Slovakia||TOGETHER – Civic Democracy
SPOLU – občianska demokracia (SPOLU)
2 / 14
|Christian Democratic Movement
Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie (KDH)
2 / 14
|Ordinary People and Independent Personalities
Obyčajní Ľudia a nezávislé osobnosti (OĽaNO)
1 / 14
|Party of the Hungarian Community
Strana maďarskej komunity
|Slovenia||Slovenian Democratic Party
Slovenska Demokratska Stranka (SDS)
2 / 8
|New Slovenia – Christian Democrats
Nova Slovenija – Krščanski demokrati (NSi)
1 / 8
|Slovenian People's Party
Slovenska ljudska stranka (SLS)
1 / 8
Partido Popular (PP)
13 / 59
Moderata Samlingspartiet (M)
4 / 21
2 / 21
175 / 705
12 / 21
7th and 8th European Parliament
|Country||Names||Names (English)||MEPs 2009–14||MEPs 2014–19|
|Austria||Österreichische Volkspartei||Austrian People's Party||6||5|
|Belgium||Dutch: Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams||Christian Democratic and Flemish||3||2|
|French: Centre Démocrate Humaniste||Humanist Democratic Centre||1||1|
|German: Christlich Soziale Partei||Christian Social Party*||1||1|
|Bulgaria||Граждани за европейско развитие на България
(Grazhdani za Evropeysko Razvitie na Balgariya)
|Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria||5||6|
|Съюз на демократичните сили
(Sayuz na Demokratichnite Sili)
|Union of Democratic Forces||1||0|
|Демократи за силна България
(Demokrati za Silna Balgariya)
|Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria||1||1|
|Croatia||Hrvatska demokratska zajednica||Croatian Democratic Union||4||4|
|Hrvatska seljačka stranka||Croatian Peasant Party||1||1|
|Cyprus||Greek: Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός|
|Czech Republic||Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová||Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party||2||3|
|TOP 09||TOP 09||—||3|
|Starostové a nezávislí||Mayors and Independents||—||1|
|Denmark||Det Konservative Folkeparti||Conservative People's Party||1||1|
|Estonia||Erakond Isamaa||Pro Patria||1||1|
|Finland||Kansallinen Kokoomus||National Coalition Party||3||3|
|Suomen kristillisdemokraatit||Christian Democrats||1||0|
|France||Les Républicains||The Republicans||27||18|
|Union des Démocrates et Indépendants||Union of Democrats and Independents||6||0|
|Germany||Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands||Christian Democratic Union||34||29|
|Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern e.V.||Christian Social Union of Bavaria||8||5|
|Hungary||Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt||Christian Democratic People's Party||1||1|
|Ireland||Fine Gael||Fine Gael||4||4|
|Italy||Forza Italia (2013)||Forza Italia||19||12|
|Alternativa Popolare||Popular Alternative||—||1|
|Unione di Centro||Union of the Centre||6||1|
|German: Südtiroler Volkspartei||South Tyrolean People's Party||1||1|
|Lithuania||Tėvynės Sąjunga – Lietuvos Krikščionys Demokratai||Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats||4||2|
|Luxembourg||Luxembourgish: Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei
French: Parti Populaire Chrétien Social
German: Christlich Soziale Volkspartei
|Christian Social People's Party||3||3|
|Malta||Partit Nazzjonalista||Nationalist Party||2||3|
|Netherlands||Christen-Democratisch Appèl||Christian Democratic Appeal||5||5|
|Poland||Platforma Obywatelska||Civic Platform||25||18|
|Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe||Polish People's Party||4||4|
|Portugal||Partido Social Democrata||Social Democratic Party||8||6|
|Centro Democrático e Social – Partido Popular||Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party||2||1|
|Romania||Partidul Național Liberal||National Liberal Party||12||8|
|Hungarian: Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség
Romanian: Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România
|Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania||3||2|
|Partidul Mișcarea Populară||People's Movement Party||—||—|
|Slovakia||Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie||Christian Democratic Movement||2||3|
|Strana Maďarskej Koalície – Magyar Koalício Pártja||Party of the Hungarian Community||2||1|
|Slovenia||Slovenska Demokratska Stranka||Slovenian Democratic Party||3||3|
|Nova Slovenija – Krščanska Ljudska Stranka||New Slovenia – Christian People's Party||1||1|
|Slovenska ljudska stranka||Slovenian People's Party||—||1|
|Spain||Spanish: Partido Popular||People's Party||24||16|
|Sweden||Moderata Samlingspartiet||Moderate Party||4||3|
|United Kingdom||'Change UK'||Change UK (defection from Conservative Party/ECR)||0||1|
|—||Renew Party (defection from Conservative Party/ECR)||0||1|
In the news
Activities performed by the group in the period between June 2004 and June 2008 include monitoring elections in Palestine and the Ukraine; encouraging transeuropean rail travel, telecoms deregulation, energy security, a common energy policy, the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Union, partial reform of the CAP and attempts to tackle illegal immigration; denouncing Russian involvement in South Ossetia; supporting the Constitution Treaty and the Lisbon Treaty; debating globalisation, relations with China, and Taiwan; backing plans to outlaw Holocaust denial; nominating Anna Politkovskaya for the 2007 Sakharov Prize; expelling Daniel Hannan from the Group; the discussion about whether ED MEPs should remain within EPP-ED or form a group of their own; criticisms of the group's approach to tackling low turnout for the 2009 elections; the group's use of the two-President arrangement; and the group's proposal to ban the Islamic Burka dress EU wide.
Parliamentary activity profile
The debates and votes in the European Parliament are tracked by its website 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.
The group produces many publications, which can be found on its website. 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.
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.
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The European People's Party, a grouping of centre-right parties at the European Parliament, voted to suspend Fidesz, Hungary's ruling party, as a protest against what many in the parliament believe are repeated attempts by the government to undermine the rule of law
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