European People's Party–European Democrats

European People's Party–European Democrats

Infobox European Parliament group
name = European People's Party–European Democrats
title = European People's Party– European Democrats

imagecaption = EPP-ED logo
from=11 September 1952
23 June 1953
englishabbr = EPP-ED
(20 July 1999 to present)
(17 July 1979 to 20 July 1999)
(June 23 1953 to July 17 1979)
frenchabbr = PPE-DE
(20 July 1999 to present)
(17 July 1979 to 20 July 1999)
(June 23 1953 to July 17 1979)
formalname = Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats
(20 July 1999 to present)
Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats)
(17 July 1979 to 20 July 1999)
Christian Democratic Group (Group of the European People's Party)
(March 14 1978 to July 17 1979)
Christian Democratic Group
(June 23 1953 to March 14 1978)
europarties = European People's Party
associated = European Democrats
ideology = Christian democracy
Liberal conservatism
chairs = Joseph Daul MEP
(16 January 2007 to present)
meps = 288 (3 May 2008)
website =
:"This article is about the current European Parliament Group and its predecessors dating back to 1952. For the europarty established in 1976, see the European People's Party."

The European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED) is the current centre-right political group of the European Parliament, comprising the European People's Party and the non-party subgroup European Democrats.

EPP-ED 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 it started to pick up members from other centre-right but non-Christian Democrat parties.

As a result, it has become the largest Group in the Parliament but does not have a majority. To guarantee the majorities required by the cooperation procedure, it is a member of the "Grand Coalition" with the Socialist Group (or the Liberals in the Fifth Parliament), and it is the Grand Coalition that holds a majority and the power in the Parliament. The Grand Coalition has held, although there have been occurences of a government-opposition dynamic, such as when the Group split with the Socialists to oppose the Santer Commission during the budget crisis.

EPP-ED's success has not been unalloyed: the tensions between the Europhile members (mostly Christian Democrat and mostly members of the European People's Party) and the Eurosceptic (mostly Conservative) members has led to the latter congregating within a subgroup called the European Democrats. This subgroup has a very different voting record to the wider Group. The members of the subgroup have threatened to leave EPP-ED after the 2009 elections, although they are not unanimous.


The Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community (the predecessor of the present day European Parliament) first met on September 10, 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 June 23 1953 the founding document 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. But as the Community expanded into the Union, new countries joined and brought with them not just Christian Democrat parties but other parties of the centre-right. The British and Danish Conservatives tried to maintain a Group of their own called the "European Democrats" (ED), but other centre-right parties such as the Greek New Democracy and Spanish Partido Popular preferred to join the burgeoning Group, now named after the transnational party "European People's Party" founded in 1976. By the 1990's, lack of support and the problems inherent in maintaining a small Group forced the collapse of ED and its members crossed the floor to join the EPP Group (although not the party). This consolidation of the European centre-right continued through the 90's with the acquisition of members from the Italian Forza Italia and, after the 1999 elections, the Group reclaimed its position as the largest Group in the Parliament.

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 does adopt a government-opposition dynamic with the others, notably during the budget crisis when it opposed the Socialists and brought about the resignation of the Santer Commission.



EPP-ED is a coalition of MEPs from the European centre-right, but the European centre-right is split on the matter of Euroscepticism. The Eurosceptic MEPs congregate within a subgroup within EPP-ED called the "European Democrats" (ED), the rest are members of the europarty called the "European People's Party" (EPP), with the latter functioning as a "de-facto" subgroup.

In 2006, the new leader of the British Conservatives, David Cameron, stated his intention to take his party out of ED and EPP-ED and form their own, more Eurosceptic, Group. At the time that would require 20 MEPs from six countries but his main ally, the Czech Civic Democratic Party indicated it would not leave until after the 2009 elections.


EPP-ED is governed by a group of people, (referred to as the "Presidency"), who allocate tasks. The Presidency consists of the Group Chair and a maximum of ten Vice-Chairs, including the Treasurer. One Vice-Chair is reserved for the leader of the ED subgroup. The day-to-day running of the Group is performed by its secretariat, 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 senior staff of EPP-ED as of 18 September 2008 are as follows:

] A [ December 2007 European Parliament document] gave the percentage of MEPs for each Group and member state at that date. The results for EPP-ED are given on the diagram on the right.

The document shows that EPP-ED draws its MEPs from each member state. It has widespread support throughout the EU. Its smallest support is in Denmark, (where the right-wing vote is split between UEN,IND/DEM and EPP-ED), and only 7% of Danish MEPs sit with EPP-ED. Its stronghold is in Eastern Europe, with three of the four Visegrad Group member states having more than 50% of its MEPs sitting with EPP-ED. Member states which have 40% or over of its MEPs sitting with EPP-ED include Malta, Romania, Spain, Greece, Germany, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.

Current membership by party

The national parties that are members of EPP-ED at 18 September 2008 are as follows:

] The debates and votes in the European Parliament are tracked by [ its website] 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 August 1 2004 to August 1 2008 in the Sixth Parliament is given on the diagram on the right. EPP-ED is denoted in blue.

The website shows EPP-ED as participating in 659 motions, making it the third most active Group during the period.


EPP-ED produces many publications, which can be found [ here] 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.


Hix and Nouri (part 1)

for sources).
] A [ 2008 working paper] from the London School of Economics/Free University of Brussels by Hix and Nouri considered the positions of the Groups by analysing their roll-call votes. The results for each Group are given in the diagram on the right. The vertical scale is anti-pro Europe spectrum, (0% = extremely anti-Europe, 100% = extremely pro), and the horizontal scale is economic left-right spectrum, (0% = extremely economically left-wing, 100% = extremely economically right-wing). The EPP subgroup is denoted by a blue square, the ED subgroup is denoted by a dark-blue square.

The paper shows the EPP subgroup as being centre-right Europhiles, and the ED subgroup as being right-wing Eurosceptics.

Hix and Nouri (part 2)

The same paper gave figures for the level of cooperation between each Group: how many times they vote with a Group, and how many times they vote against. The paper's figures for EPP-ED are given below.

See also

* European People's Party
* Movement for European Reform
* Members of the European Parliament 2004-2009


* [ BBC News] [ BBC News article 5169268] ] [ BBC News article 5053682] ]

* [,,3325,00.html Deutsche Welle] [,,1272316,00.html Deutsche Welle article 1272316] ]

* [ eGovMonitor] [ EGOV document 10363] ]

* [ EPP-ED website] [ EPP-ED Chronology 02] ] [ EPP-ED Chronology 04] ] [ EPP-ED Chronology 05] ] [ EPP-ED Chronology 06] ] [ EPP-ED Chronology 07] ] [ Chronology of European Integration 1945-2006] ] [ EPP-ED Group structure] ] [ EPP-ED Staff] ] [ EPP-ED Parties] ] [ EPP-ED Member List] ]

* [] [ EurActiv article 112860] ] [ EurActiv article 140105] ] [ EurActiv article 171155] ] [ EurActiv article 170049] ]

* [ Europe Politique] [ EPP-ED on Europe Politique] ]

* [ European Parliament] [ Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006] ] [ Group names 1999] ] EP MEP info/archive|1267|Egon Klepsch] EP MEP info/archive|1253|Hans-Gert Pöttering] EP MEP info/archive|1253|Joseph Daul] [ European Parliament website document 20041208] ] [ European Parliament website document 20070906FCS10161] ]

* [ European Navigator] [ Composition of the Common Assembly (10-13 September 1952)] ]

* [ European Commission] [ European Commission article 290906 EN] ]

* [ Forbes] [ Forbes article 2081969] ]

* [ The Independent on Sunday] [ Independent on Sunday article 407730] ]

* [ Institute for International Integration Studies] [ "Party Groups and Policy Positions in the European Parliament" by Gail McElroy and Kenneth Benoit, Trinity College, Dublin, 10 March 2005] original figure taken from "Table 2. Policy Positions of European Party Groups", figure converted from 0 to 20 scale to 0% to 100% scale] [ "Party Groups and Policy Positions in the European Parliament" by Gail McElroy and Kenneth Benoit, Trinity College, Dublin, 10 March 2005] original figure taken from "Table 2. Policy Positions of European Party Groups", figure converted from 0 to 20 scale to 0% to 100% scale and subtracted from 100% to have scale start at "extremely against"]

* [ Institute of Netherlands History] [ Sassen, Emanuel Marie Joseph Anthony (1911-1995)] ]

* [ Konrad Adenauer Stiftung] [ Political Groups of the European Parliament] ]

* [ London School of Economics] [ "After Enlargement: Voting Patterns in the Sixth European Parliament", by Simon Hix and Abdul Noury, LSE/ULB, 3 January 2008] original figure taken from "Table 6. Party Competition and Coalition Patterns in EP5 and EP6"]

* [ Luleå University of Technology] [ Turkey as a member of the European Union: a discourse analysis of the views presented in the European Parliament. Martin Olof Persson, ISSN 1402-1552, 2007] ]

* [ MaltaMedia Online Network] [ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2582] ] [ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2912] ] [ MaltaMedia Online Network article 2257] ]

* [ The Parliament Magazine] [ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-parliament-group-demands-ukraine-election-observers"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-group-backs-eu-rail-shake-up"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-backs-eu-telecoms-shake-up"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-chief-slams-russian-recognition-of-georgian-regions"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-brok-and-karas-sent-to-georgia-to-report-on-developments"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "top-mep-brands-moscow-brutal-over-georgia"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-aid-to-georgia-too-slow-says-mep"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-on-eu-leaders-to-condemn-russian-intimidation"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-appeal-to-irish-to-back-eu-reform-treaty"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-kosovo-and-lisbon-treaty-should-top-eu-agenda"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "more-meps-call-for-taiwans-membership-of-un-agencies"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-plans-to-outlaw-holocaust-denial"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "eu-debates-21st-century-globalisation"] ] [ The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-for-eu-constitution-re-run-in-france"] ]

* [ People's Daily] [ People's Daily article 6401313] ]

* [] [ Scoop article S00580] ]

* [ The Times] [ Times article 766719] ]

* [ University of California, Berkeley Department of Economics] [ Democracy in the European Parliament] ]


External links

* [ EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament]

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