European People's Party (European Parliament group): Wikis


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European People's Party
European Parliament group
EPP-ED logo.svg
EPP Group logo
Name Group of the European People's Party
English abbr. EPP
(22 June 2009 to present)

(20 July 1999[2] to 22 June 2009)

(17 July 1979[3]

to 20 July 1999[2])

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

(20 July 1999[2] to 22 June 2009)

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

(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 Liberal Conservatism, Christian Democracy
European parties European People's Party
From 11 September 1952
(unofficially) [9]
23 June 1953
To present
Chaired by Joseph Daul MEP
(16 January 2007[6] to present)
MEP(s) 265 (21 July 2009)

The Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) (EPP Group) is a centre-right political group of the European Parliament. It is made up of MEPs elected from the lists of member-parties of the European People's Party (EPP), plus a few independent MEPs. It is the only political group in the European parliament to fully represent its corresponding European political party, the EPP.

The EPP Group is one of the three oldest groups, dating its origin back to September 1952 and the first meeting of the Parliament's predecessor, the Common Assembly. Founded as an explicitly Christian Democrat group, it declined at first but reversed its fortunes in the 80's/90's when, as a result of the gradual enlargement of the EPP (party), it started to pick up members from other centre-right but non-Christian Democrat parties.



The Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (the predecessor of the present day European Parliament) first met on 10 September 1952[10] and the first Christian Democratic group was unofficially formed the next day, with Maan Sassen as President.[9][11] The group held 38 of the 78 seats, two short of an absolute majority.[9][12] On 16 June 1953 the Common Assembly passed a resolution[13] enabling the official formation of political groups, and on 23 June 1953 the constituent declaration[14] of the group was published and the group was officially formed.[9][12]

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 Community expanded into the Union, the centre-right in the new member states were not necessarily Christian Democrat and the EPP (European People's Party, the transnational political party founded in 1976 which all group members are now affiliated to) feared being sidelined.[15] To counter this, the EPP (party) expanded its remit to cover the centre-right regardless of tradition and pursued a policy of integrating Conservative parties.[15]

This policy bore fruit, with the Greek New Democracy and Spanish Partido Popular MEPs joining the EPP Group.[15] The British and Danish Conservatives 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[15]. 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 90's with the acquisition of members from the Italian 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 the group reclaimed its position as the largest group in the Parliament after the 1999 elections.

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 Socialist 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 Socialists and brought about the resignation of the Santer Commission.

Meanwhile the parties in the ED subgroup were growing restless[16] and finally left following the 2009 elections, when the Czech Civic Democratic Party and United Kingdom Conservatives formed their own European Conservatives and Reformists group on 22 June 2009, abolishing the ED subgroup from that date. The EPP-ED Group reverted to its original name - EPP Group - almost immediately.

The EPP Group remains the largest group in the European Parliament with 265 MEPs. It is the only political group in the European parliament to fully represent its corresponding European political party, the EPP. The United Kingdom is now the only member state not to have representation in the EPP Group.




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,[17] 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 18 September 2008 are as follows:


The MEPs that compose the EPP Group are as follows:


National Party


MEPs 2004-2009

MEPs 2009-2014
 Austria Austrian People's Party EPP 6 6
 Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish EPP 4 3
Humanist Democratic Centre EPP 1 1
Christian Social Party none 1 1
 Bulgaria Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria EPP 5 5
Union of Democratic Forces EPP - 1
 Cyprus Democratic Rally EPP 2 2
European Party EPP 1 -
 Czech Republic Civic Democratic Party (note: left EPP-ED for ECR in 2009) ED 9 -
SNK European Democrats none 3 -
Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party EPP 2 2
 Denmark Conservative People's Party EPP 1 1
 Estonia Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica EPP 1 1
 Finland National Coalition Party EPP 4 3
Christian Democrats EPP - 1
 France Union for a Popular Movement EPP 17 29
 Germany Christian Democratic Union EPP 40 34
Christian Social Union of Bavaria EPP 9 8
 Greece New Democracy EPP 11 8
 Hungary Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union EPP 12 14
Hungarian Democratic Forum (note: left EPP-ED for ECR in 2009) EPP 1 -
 Ireland Fine Gael EPP 5 4
 Italy The People of Freedom EPP 16 29
Union of the Centre EPP 5 5
South Tyrolese People's Party EPP 1 1
UDEUR Populars EPP 1 -
Pensioners' Party ED 1 -
 Latvia Civic Union none - 2
New Era Party EPP 2 1
People's Party EPP 1 -
 Lithuania Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats EPP 2 4
 Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party EPP 3 3
 Malta Nationalist Party EPP 2 2
 Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal EPP 7 5
 Poland Civic Platform EPP 15 25
Polish People's Party EPP 4 3
 Portugal Social Democratic Party EPP 7 8
Democratic and Social Center - People's Party EPP 2 2
 Romania Democratic Liberal Party EPP 13 10
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania EPP 2 3
Elena Băsescu none - 1
 Slovakia Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party EPP 3 2
Christian Democratic Movement EPP 3 2
Party of the Hungarian Coalition EPP 2 2
 Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party EPP 2 2
New Slovenia – Christian People's Party EPP 2 1
 Spain People's Party EPP 24 23
 Sweden Moderate Party EPP 4 4
Christian Democrats EPP 1 1
 United Kingdom Conservative Party (note: left EPP-ED for ECR in 2009) ED 27 -
Ulster Unionist Party (note: left EPP-ED for ECR in 2009) ED 1 -
Total EPP 246 261
Total ED 38 -
Total Other 4 4
Total 288 265

Membership at formation

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


In the news

Activities performed by the group in the period between June 2004 and June 2008 include monitoring elections in Palestine[20] and the Ukraine[21]; encouraging transeuropean rail travel,[22] telecoms deregulation,[23] energy security[24], a common energy policy[25], the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Union[26], partial reform of the CAP[27] and attempts to tackle illegal immigration;[28][29][30]; denouncing Russian involvement in South Ossetia[31][32][33][34][35]; supporting the Constitution Treaty[36][37][38] and the Lisbon Treaty[39][40]; debating globalisation,[25][41] relations with China,[42] and Taiwan;[43]; backing plans to outlaw Holocaust denial;[44]; nominating Anna Politkovskaya for the 2007 Sakharov Prize[45]; expelling Daniel Hannan from the Group[46]; the discussion about whether ED MEPs should remain within EPP-ED or form a group of their own[47][48][49]; criticisms of the group's approach to tackle low turnout for the 2009 elections[50] and the group's use of the two-President arrangement.[51]

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[52] 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.


The group produces many publications, which can be found on its website.[53] 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 summarized 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 (homosexual equality, 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


  1. ^ a b Democracy in the European Parliament
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Political Groups of the European Parliament
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o EPP-ED on Europe Politique
  4. ^ a b Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006
  5. ^ European Parliament archive entry for Hans-Gert Pöttering (incl. Membership)
  6. ^ a b European Parliament archive entry for Joseph Daul (incl. Membership)
  7. ^ Group names 1999
  8. ^ a b c European Parliament archive entry for Egon Klepsch (incl. Membership)
  9. ^ a b c d e EPP-ED Chronology 02
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Composition of the Common Assembly (10-13 September 1952)
  11. ^ Sassen, Emanuel Marie Joseph Anthony (1911-1995)
  12. ^ a b Chronology of European Integration 1945-2006
  13. ^ "Assemblée commune, Résolution insérant dans le Règlement une disposition relative à la constitution des Groupes politiques (16 juin 1953)", in Journal officiel de la CECA, 21 July 1953, S. 155
  14. ^ Statement of formation of the Christian-Democratic Group (23 June 1953)
  15. ^ a b c d "Shaping Europe - 25 years of the European People’s Party" by Wilfried Martens, President of the European People's Party
  16. ^ BBC News article 5169268
  17. ^ European Ideas Network - Home
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k EPP Group structure
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j EPP-ED Member List
  20. ^ European Parliament website document 20041208
  21. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-parliament-group-demands-ukraine-election-observers"
  22. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-group-backs-eu-rail-shake-up"
  23. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-backs-eu-telecoms-shake-up"
  24. ^ EGOV document 10363
  25. ^ a b Scoop article S00580
  26. ^ European Commission article 290906 EN
  27. ^ EurActiv article 112860
  28. ^ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2582
  29. ^ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2912
  30. ^ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2257
  31. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-chief-slams-russian-recognition-of-georgian-regions"
  32. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-brok-and-karas-sent-to-georgia-to-report-on-developments"
  33. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "top-mep-brands-moscow-brutal-over-georgia"
  34. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-aid-to-georgia-too-slow-says-mep"
  35. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-on-eu-leaders-to-condemn-russian-intimidation"
  36. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-for-eu-constitution-re-run-in-france"
  37. ^ EurActiv article 140105
  38. ^ Forbes article 2081969
  39. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-appeal-to-irish-to-back-eu-reform-treaty"
  40. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-kosovo-and-lisbon-treaty-should-top-eu-agenda"
  41. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-debates-21st-century-globalisation"
  42. ^ People's Daily article 6401313
  43. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "more-meps-call-for-taiwans-membership-of-un-agencies"
  44. ^ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-plans-to-outlaw-holocaust-denial"
  45. ^ European Parliament website document 20070906FCS10161
  46. ^ EurActiv article 170049
  47. ^ Independent on Sunday article 407730
  48. ^ BBC News article 5053682
  49. ^ Times article 766719
  50. ^ EurActiv article 171155
  51. ^ Deutsche Welle article 1272316
  52. ^ Plenary sittings : Motions for resolutions - Advanced search
  53. ^ EPP Group: Publications

External links


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