European People's Party (European Parliament group)

European People's Party (European Parliament group)
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 Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism,
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) 264 (June 2011)

The Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats), abbreviated to 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).

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 democratic group, it declined at first but reversed its fortunes in the 1980s and 1990s 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 democratic 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 '90s 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, i.e. 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:

The EPP has MEPs from 26 states, including 24 with more than one MEP (in blue) and two with one MEP each (light blue).


National Parties (members of the European People's Party)

MEPs 2009-2014
 Austria Austrian People's Party 6
 Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish 3
Humanist Democratic Centre 1
Christian Social Party * 1
 Bulgaria Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria 5
Union of Democratic Forces 1
 Cyprus Democratic Rally 2
 Czech Republic Christian and Democratic Union - Czechoslovak People's Party 2
 Denmark Conservative People's Party 1
 Estonia Union of Pro Patria and Res Publica 1
 Finland National Coalition Party 3
Christian Democrats 1
 France Union for a Popular Movement 29
 Germany Christian Democratic Union 34
Christian Social Union of Bavaria 8
 Greece New Democracy 7
 Hungary Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union 14
 Ireland Fine Gael 4
 Italy The People of Freedom 24
Future and Freedom 5
Union of the Centre 5
South Tyrolese People's Party 1
 Latvia Civic Union 2
New Era Party 1
 Lithuania Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats 4
 Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party 3
 Malta Nationalist Party 2
 Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal 5
 Poland Civic Platform 25
Polish People's Party 3
 Portugal Social Democratic Party 8
Democratic and Social Center - People's Party 2
 Romania Democratic Liberal Party 11
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania 3
 Slovakia Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party 2
Christian Democratic Movement 2
Party of the Hungarian Coalition 2
 Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party 2
New Slovenia – Christian People's Party 1
 Spain People's Party 23
 Sweden Moderate Party 4
Christian Democrats 1
Total 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" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Political Groups of the European Parliament". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "EPP-ED on Europe Politique". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  4. ^ a b "Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  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". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  8. ^ a b c European Parliament archive entry for Egon Klepsch (incl. Membership)
  9. ^ a b c d e "EPP-ED Chronology 02". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  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)". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  12. ^ a b "Microsoft Word - 2006EN-3-DEF-CH.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  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". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  16. ^ Mulvey, Stephen (2006-07-11). "article 5169268". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  17. ^ "Home". European Ideas Network. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "EPP Group structure". 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "EPP-ED Member List". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  20. ^ "European Parliament website document 20041208". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  21. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-parliament-group-demands-ukraine-election-observers"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  22. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-group-backs-eu-rail-shake-up"". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  23. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-backs-eu-telecoms-shake-up"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  24. ^ EGOV document 10363
  25. ^ a b "Scoop article S00580". 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  26. ^ "European Commission article 290906 EN". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  27. ^ "EurActiv article 112860". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  28. ^ "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2582". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  29. ^ "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2912". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  30. ^ "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2257". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  31. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-chief-slams-russian-recognition-of-georgian-regions"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  32. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-brok-and-karas-sent-to-georgia-to-report-on-developments"". 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  33. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "top-mep-brands-moscow-brutal-over-georgia"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  34. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-aid-to-georgia-too-slow-says-mep"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  35. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-on-eu-leaders-to-condemn-russian-intimidation"". 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  36. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-for-eu-constitution-re-run-in-france"". 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  37. ^ "EurActiv article 140105". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  38. ^ "Forbes article 2081969". 2005-08-06. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  39. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-appeal-to-irish-to-back-eu-reform-treaty"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  40. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-kosovo-and-lisbon-treaty-should-top-eu-agenda"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  41. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-debates-21st-century-globalisation"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  42. ^ (2008-04-29). "People's Daily article 6401313". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  43. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "more-meps-call-for-taiwans-membership-of-un-agencies"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  44. ^ "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-plans-to-outlaw-holocaust-denial"". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  45. ^ "European Parliament website document 20070906FCS10161". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  46. ^ EurActiv article 170049[dead link]
  47. ^ Castle, Stephen; Grice, Andrew (2006-07-13). "Independent on Sunday article 407730". London: Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  48. ^ "article 5053682". BBC News. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  49. ^ Times article 766719[dead link]
  50. ^ EurActiv article 171155[dead link]
  51. ^ Bernd Riegert (dsl) (2004-07-20). "Deutsche Welle article 1272316".,,1272316,00.html. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  52. ^
  53. ^ "EPP Group: Publications". Retrieved 2010-06-17. 

External links

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