European People's Party

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European People's Party
Leader Donald Tusk PEC (PL)
Jean-Claude Juncker PEC (LU)
President Joseph Daul (FR)
Group leader Manfred Weber MEP (DE)
Secretary-General Antonio López-Istúriz White MEP (ES)
Founded8 July 1976 (1976-07-08)
HeadquartersRue du Commerce/Handelsstraat 10, 1000 — Brussels, Belgium
Think tank Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Student wing European Democrat Students
Youth wing Youth of the European People's Party
Women's wingWomen of the European People's Party
Ideology Conservatism [1]
Liberal conservatism [2]
Christian democracy [2]
Pro-Europeanism [3]
Political position Centre-right [1]
International affiliation Centrist Democrat International, [4]
International Democrat Union [5]
European Parliament group European People's Party
Colours     Blue
European Parliament
182 / 751
European Council
9 / 28
European Lower Houses
2,199 / 9,874
European Upper Houses
569 / 2,714

The European People's Party (EPP) is a European political party with conservative [6] and liberal-conservative [2] member parties. A transnational organisation, it is composed of other political parties, not individuals. Founded by primarily Christian democratic parties in 1976, it has since broadened its membership to include liberal-conservative parties and parties with other centre-right political perspectives. [7] [8] [9] [10]

European political party Type of political party operating on a pan-European level

A European political party is a type of political party organisation operating transnationally in Europe and in the institutions of the European Union. They are regulated and funded by the European Union and are usually made up of national parties, not individuals. Europarties have the exclusive right to campaign during the European elections and express themselves within the European Parliament by their affiliated political groups and their MEPs. Europarties, through coordination meetings with their affiliated heads of state and government, influence the decision-making process of the European Council. Europarties also work closely and co-ordinate with their affiliated members of the European Commission and, according to the Lisbon Treaty the Europarty that wins the European elections has the right to nominate to the European Council its candidate for President of the European Commission.

Liberal conservatism is a political ideology combining conservative policies with liberal stances, especially on economic, social and ethical issues, or a brand of political conservatism strongly influenced by liberalism.

Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching as well as Neo-Calvinism. Christian democratic political ideology advocates for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was conceived as a combination of modern democratic ideas and traditional Christian values, incorporating the social teachings espoused by the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions in various parts of the world. After World War II, the Protestant and Catholic movements of the Social Gospel and Neo-Thomism, respectively, played a role in shaping Christian democracy. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, although it is also present in other parts of the world.


The EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament since 1999 and in the European Council since 2002. It is also by far the largest party in the current European Commission. The President of the European Council, President of the European Commission and the President of the European Parliament are all from the EPP. Many of the Founding fathers of the European Union were also from parties that later formed the EPP. Outside the EU the party also controls a majority in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The EPP has alternated with its centre-left rival the Party of European Socialists (PES) as the largest European political party and parliamentary group.

European Parliament Directly elected parliament of the European Union

The European Parliament (EP) is the legislative branch of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. Together with the European Commission and the Council of the European Union it exercises the tripartite legislative function of the European Union. The Parliament is composed of 751 members (MEPs), intended to become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature because of specific provisions adopted about Brexit, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world.

European Council institution of the European Union

The European Council is a collective body that defines the European Union's overall political direction and priorities. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission. The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy also takes part in its meetings. Established as an informal summit in 1975, the European Council was formalised as an institution in 2009 upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon. Its current president is Donald Tusk, former Prime Minister of Poland. Charles Michel, current Belgian Prime Minister is President-Elect, taking office on 1 December 2019.

European Commission Executive branch of the European Union

The European Commission (EC) is the executive branch of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be completely independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, and the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, and then appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament.

The EPP includes major centre-right parties such as the CDU/CSU of Germany, The Republicans of France, CD&V of Belgium, KDU-ČSL of the Czech Republic, Fine Gael of Ireland, New Democracy of Greece, Forza Italia of Italy, the People's Party (PP) of Spain, the Social Democratic Party of Portugal, the Civic Platform of Poland, and Fidesz of Hungary.

CDU/CSU, unofficially the Union parties or the Union, is the centre-right Christian democratic political alliance of two political parties in Germany, namely the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) and Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU).

Germany Federal parliamentary republic in central-western Europe

Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north and the Alps, Lake Constance and the High Rhine to the south. It borders Denmark to the north, Poland and the Czech Republic to the east, Austria and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, and Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to the west.

The Republicans (France) French right-wing political party

The Republicans is a centre-right, gaullist, conservative political party in France.


Logo of European People's Party from 1999 to 2015 EPP logo.svg
Logo of European People's Party from 1999 to 2015
From left to right:Tindemans, Bukman and Santer; former presidents of the EPP Tindemans, Bukman, Santer.jpg
From left to right:Tindemans, Bukman and Santer; former presidents of the EPP

According to its website, the EPP is "the family of the political centre-right, whose roots run deep in the history and civilisation of the European continent, and [which] has pioneered the European project from its inception". [11]

The EPP was founded in Luxembourg on 8 July 1976 on the initiative of Jean Seitlinger; Leo Tindemans, then Prime Minister of Belgium, who became the first President of the EPP; and Wilfried Martens, who later became both President of the EPP and Prime Minister of Belgium. It had been preceded by the Secretariat International des partis démocratiques d'inspiration chrétienne , founded in 1925, [12] the Nouvelles Equipes Internationales , founded in 1946 [13] (or 1948), [12] and the European Union of Christian Democrats, founded in 1965. [13]

Jean Seitlinger was a French politician who was a member of the National Assembly of France. He represented the Moselle's 5th constituency from 1958 to 1997, with interruptions. From 1979 - 1984 he was a member of the European Parliament.

Leo Tindemans Belgian former prime minister

Leonard Clemence "Leo" Tindemans was a Belgian politician. He served as the 43rd Prime Minister of Belgium serving from 25 April 1974 until he resigned as minister on 20 October 1978. He was a member of the Christian Democratic and Flemish party.

Prime Minister of Belgium head of the federal government of Belgium

The Prime Minister of Belgium or the Premier of Belgium is the head of the federal government of Belgium, and the most powerful person in Belgian politics.

In the late 1990s the Finnish politician Sauli Niinistö negotiated the merger of the European Democrat Union (EDU), of which he was President, into the EPP. In October 2002 the EDU ceased its activities after being formally absorbed by the EPP at a special event in Estoril, Portugal. In recognition of his efforts Niinistö was elected Honorary President of the EPP the same year.

Sauli Niinistö 12th president of Finland

Sauli Väinämö Niinistö is a Finnish politician and the 12th President of Finland, in office since 2012.

The European Democrat Union (EDU) is one of the three European wings of the International Democrat Union, along with the European People's Party (EPP) and the Alliance of European Conservatives and Reformists (AECR). Its members include Christian democratic, liberal conservative, and conservative political parties. It is only a nominal sub-entity of the IDU, since it ceased its activities in 2002.

The EPP has had five Presidents:

No.ImageNameTenureMember state
1 Bundesarchiv B 145 Bild-F050938-0028, Bonn, Tagung CDU-Bundesausschuss, Tindemans.jpg Leo Tindemans 1976–1985 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
2 Piet Bukman 1980 (1).jpg Piet Bukman 1985–1987 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
3 Jacques Santer.jpg Jacques Santer 1987–1990 Flag of Luxembourg.svg Luxembourg
4 Wilfried Martens.jpg Wilfried Martens 1990–2013 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium
5 2016-12-06 Joseph Daul CDU Parteitag by Olaf Kosinsky-10.jpg Joseph Daul 2013–present Flag of France.svg France

Platform and manifesto

Sauli Niinisto and Jyrki Katainen at an EPP summit in Helsinki Niinisto and Katainen.jpg
Sauli Niinistö and Jyrki Katainen at an EPP summit in Helsinki

Political manifesto and platform

During its Congress in Bucharest in 2012 the EPP updated its political platform after 20 years (since its Congress in Athens in 1992) and approved a political manifesto in which it summarised its main values and policies.

The manifesto highlights:

The manifesto also describes the EPP's priorities for the EU, including:

Electoral manifesto

As a central part of its campaign for the European elections in 2009 the EPP approved its election manifesto at its Congress in Warsaw in April that year. The manifesto called for:

At its Congress in Warsaw in 2009 the EPP endorsed Barroso for a second term as President of the Commission. Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP Congress Warsaw (869).jpg
At its Congress in Warsaw in 2009 the EPP endorsed Barroso for a second term as President of the Commission.

The Fidesz-crisis

Controversy over the right-wing politics of the Hungarian Fidesz-leader Viktor Orbán caused a split in the EPP in the run-up of the 2019 European Parliament election. [14] On the one hand the EPP had been reluctant for years to address Fidesz's stance against the rule of law, expressed by the Article 7 proceedings of the European Parliament. On the other hand European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, a prominent EPP-member, stated “I believe his [Fidesz’s] place is not in the European People’s Party”. [15] Orbán’s campaigns targeting billionaire George Soros [16] and Jean-Claude Juncker [17] carried wide reverberations for Europe questioning the EPP’s effort to install its lead candidate Manfred Weber as the next Commission president. [18]

After years of deferring a decision about the Fidesz issue, [19] the EPP was eventually compelled to address the problem two months before the 2019 European elections, as 13 outraged member parties requested the Hungarian party's exclusion from the EPP due to its billboard campaign featuring Jean-Claude Juncker. 190 of the 193 EPP delegates decided on 20 March 2019 to partially suspend Fidesz membership. According to this, Fidesz is "until further notice" excluded from EPP meetings and internal elections, but remains in the European People's Party group of the European Parliament. Fidesz has not delivered on its earlier promise to leave the EPP in case of a penalty. [20]


The EPP operates as an international non-profit association under Belgian law according to its by-laws, the Statutes of the European People's Party (Statuts du Parti Populaire Européen), originally adopted 29 April 1976.


The Presidency is the executive body of the party. It decides on the general political guidelines of the EPP and presides over its Political Assembly. The Presidency is composed of the President, ten Vice-Presidents, the Honorary Presidents, the Secretary General and the Treasurer. The Chairperson of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, the Presidents of the Commission, the Parliament and the Council, and the High Representative (if they are a member of an EPP member party) are all ex officio Vice-Presidents.

President of the EPP Joseph Daul Joseph Daul.jpg
President of the EPP Joseph Daul

As of 2015 the Presidency [21] of the EPP comprised:

Political Assembly

The Political Assembly defines the political positions of the EPP between Congresses, and decides on membership applications, political guidelines and the budget. The Political Assembly is composed of designated delegates from EPP member parties, associated parties, member associations and other affiliated groups. The Political Assembly meets at least three times a year.


The Congress is the highest decision-making body of the EPP. It is composed of delegates from member parties, EPP associations, EPP Group MEPs, the EPP Presidency, national heads of party and government, and European Commissioners who belong to a member party, with the numbers of delegates being weighted according to the EPP's share of MEPs, and individual delegates being elected by member parties according to member parties' rules. [22]

Under the EPP's statutes the Congress must meet once every three years, but it also meets normally during the years of elections for the European Parliament (every five years), and extraordinary Congresses have also been summoned. The Congress elects the EPP Presidency every three years, decides on the main policy documents and electoral programmes, and provides a platform for the EPP's heads of government and party leaders.

Activities within the party


EPP leaders meet for the EPP Summit a few hours before each meeting of the European Council in order to formulate common positions. Invitations are sent by the EPP President and attendees include, besides the members of the EPP's Presidency, all Presidents and Prime Ministers who are members of the European Council and belong to the EPP; the Presidents of the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European Council, as well as the High Representative for Foreign Affairs, provided that they belong to the EPP; Deputy Prime Ministers or other ministers in those cases where the Prime Minister of a country does not belong to an EPP member party; and, where no EPP member party is part of a government, the leaders of the main EPP opposition party.

Reunion Picture at 2011 Summit EPP Summit March 2011 (65).jpg
Reunion Picture at 2011 Summit

Ministerial meetings

Following the pattern of the EPP Summit the party also organises regular EPP Ministerial meetings before each meeting of the Council of the European Union, with ministers, deputy ministers, secretaries of state and MEPs in the specific policy field attending:

Other activities

The EPP also organises working groups on different issues and on an ad hoc basis, as well as meetings with its affiliated members in the European Commission. It also invites individual Commissioners to the EPP Summit meetings and to EPP Ministerial meetings.

Following amendments to the EU Regulation that governs Europarties in 2007, the EPP, like the other "Europarties", is responsible for organising a pan-European campaign for the European elections every five years. According to the Lisbon Treaty, the parties must present candidates for President of the European Commission, but the EPP had already done this by endorsing Jose Manuel Barroso for a second term in April 2009.

The year 2014 saw the first fully fledged campaign of the EPP ahead of the European elections of that year. The party nominated former Luxembourgish Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker as its candidate for President of the European Commission and led a pan-European campaign in coordination with the national campaigns of all its member parties.

Activities within European institutions

The EPP holds the Presidencies of two of the three main EU institutions: the European Commission, led by President Jean-Claude Juncker (CSV), and the European Council, led by Donald Tusk (PO), who has been nominated by the EPP and took office 1 December 2014.

Overview of the European institutions

OrganisationInstitutionNumber of seats
Flag of Europe.svg  European Union European Parliament
172 / 751
Committee of the Regions
125 / 350
European Commission
14 / 28
European Council
(Heads of Government)
9 / 28
Council of the European Union
(Participation in Government)
12 / 28

European Commission

In 2014 the EPP nominated Jean-Claude Juncker as its candidate for election as President of the European Commission. As the EPP won the 2014 European Parliament election, Juncker's nomination was endorsed by the European Council and he was elected by an absolute majority in the European Parliament. On 1 November 2014 the Juncker Commission officially took office. It includes 14 EPP officeholders out of 28 European Commissioners.

StateCommissionerPortfolioPolitical partyPortrait
Flag of Luxembourg.svg
Jean-Claude Juncker President CSV Ioannes Claudius Juncker die 7 Martis 2014.jpg
Flag of Finland.svg
Jyrki Katainen Vice-President European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship KO Jyrki Katainen in June 2013 (cropped).jpg
Flag of Poland.svg
Elżbieta Bieńkowska Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs PO Elzbieta Bienkowska Kancelaria Senatu.jpg
Flag of Latvia.svg
Valdis Dombrovskis European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro Unity Valdis Dombrovskis 2009.jpg
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg
Marianne Thyssen European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility CD&V MarianeThyssen.jpg
Flag of Hungary.svg
Tibor Navracsics European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Fidesz Navracsics Tibor Portrait.jpg
Flag of Spain.svg
Miguel Arias Cañete European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy PP Miguel Arias Canete (cropped) (2).jpg
Flag of Bulgaria.svg
Kristalina Georgieva Vice-President European Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources GERB Kristalina Georgieva (7).jpg
Flag of Germany.svg
Günther Oettinger European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society CDU Guenther h oettinger 2007.jpg
Flag of Austria.svg
Johannes Hahn European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations ÖVP JohannesHahnPortrait.jpg
Flag of Ireland.svg
Phil Hogan European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development FG Phil Hogan.jpg
Flag of Portugal.svg
Carlos Moedas European Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation PPD-PSD Carlos Moedas (cropped).JPG
Flag of Cyprus.svg
Christos Stylianides European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management DISY Stylianides.JPG
Flag of Greece.svg
Dimitris Avramopoulos European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship New Democracy D Avramopoulos at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.jpg

European Parliament

The EPP has the largest group in the European Parliament: the EPP Group. As of 2015 it has 216 Members of the European Parliament and its chairman is the German MEP Manfred Weber.

In every election for the European Parliament candidates elected on lists of member parties of the EPP are obliged to join the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

The EPP Group holds six of the fourteen vice-presidencies of the European Parliament.

European Council

The EPP has 8 out of the 28 heads of state or government attending the EPP summits in preparation for the European Council (as of 1 July 2018):

Member stateRepresentativeTitlePolitical partyMember of the Council sincePortrait
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Boyko Borissov Prime Minister GERB 7 November 2014 Boyko Borisov EPP 2014.jpg
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Andrej Plenković Prime Minister HDZ 19 October 2016 Andrej Plenkovic 2017.jpg
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades President DISY 28 February 2013 ANASTASIADES Nicos.jpg
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Angela Merkel Chancellor CDU 22 November 2005 AM Juli 2010 - 3zu4.jpg
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Viktor Orbán Prime Minister Fidesz 29 May 2010 OrbanViktor 2011-01-07.jpg
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Leo Varadkar Taoiseach [a 1] Fine Gael 22 June 2017 Leo Varadkar 2016.jpg
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Klaus Iohannis President PNL 21 December 2014 Klaus Iohannis Senate of Poland 2015 02 (cropped 2).JPG

The EPP also has other heads of state or government who do not normally take part in the European Council or EPP summits since that responsibility belongs to the other leaders of their countries: János Áder (Hungary, Fidesz), Sauli Niinistö (Finland, KOK).

National legislatures

CountryInstitutionNumber of seats
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria National Council
Lower house
50 / 183
Federal Council
Upper house
22 / 62
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Chamber of Representatives
Lower house
27 / 150
Upper house
12 / 60
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria National Assembly
95 / 240
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Sabor
55 / 151
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus House of Representatives
18 / 56
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic Chamber of Deputies
Lower house
23 / 200
Upper house
34 / 81
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark The Folketing
6 / 179
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia Riigikogu
12 / 101
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Parliament
38 / 200
Flag of France.svg  France National Assembly
Lower house
100 / 577
Upper house
142 / 348
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Bundestag
310 / 630
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece Parliament
158 / 300
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Országgyűlés
131 / 199
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Dáil
Lower house
50 / 166
Upper house
19 / 60
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Chamber of Deputies
Lower house
106 / 630
Upper house
65 / 315
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia Saeima
8 / 100
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Seimas
31 / 141
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Chamber of Deputies
23 / 60
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta House of Representatives
28 / 69
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands House of Representatives
Lower house
19 / 150
Upper house
12 / 75
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Sejm
Lower house
152 / 460
Upper house
33 / 100
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Assembly of the Republic
107 / 230
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania Chamber of Deputies
Lower house
108 / 329
Upper house
47 / 136
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia National Council
11 / 150
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia National Assembly
25 / 90
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain Congress of Deputies
Lower house
66 / 350
Upper house
74 / 266
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Riksdag
92 / 349
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom House of Commons
Lower house
0 / 650
House of Lords
Upper house
0 / 793

Activities beyond the European Union

In third countries

Through its associate and observer parties the EPP has one head of state or government in non-EU countries:

StateRepresentativesTitlePolitical partyIn power sincePortrait
Flag of Norway.svg  Norway Erna Solberg Prime Minister Høyre 16 October 2013 31.08.2013, Erna Solberg.2.jpg
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina Šefik Džaferović Bosniak Member of the Presidency SDA 20 November 2018 Sefik Dzaferovic.jpg
Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova Maia Sandu Prime Minister PAS 8 June 2019 Maia Sandu - EPP Summit - June 2017 (35463818515) (cropped).jpg

The EPP also has other heads of state or government who do not normally attend the meetings, since the other leaders of their countries attend instead. They include Prime Minister Denis Zvizdić (Bosnia-Herzegovina, SDA) and President Gjorge Ivanov (Republic of North Macedonia, VMRO-DPMNE).

In the Council of Europe

The Group of the EPP in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe defends freedom of expression and information, as well as freedom of movement of ideas and religious tolerance. It promotes the principle of subsidiarity and local autonomy, as well as the defence of national, social and other minorities. The EPP/CD Group is led by Pedro Agramunt, a member of the Spanish Popular Party.

The EPP/CD group also includes members from parties that are not related to the EPP itself, including members of the Patriotic Union (Liechtenstein), the Progressive Citizens' Party (Liechtenstein), the National and Democratic Union (Monaco) and the Serbian Progressive Party. [24]

In the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe

The "EPP and like-minded Group" in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) is the most active political group in that body. The Group meets on a regular basis and promotes the EPP's positions. The members of the EPP Group also participate in the election-monitoring missions of the OSCE.

The Group is chaired by Walburga Habsburg Douglas (Sweden), and its Vice-Presidents are Consiglio Di Nino (Canada), Vilija Aleknaitė Abramikiene (Lithuania), Laura Allegrini (Italy) and George Tsereteli (Georgia).

The Group also includes members of parties not related to the EPP, accounting for the "like-minded" part of its name. Among them are members of the Patriotic Union (Liechtenstein), the Union for the Principality (Monaco), the Conservative Party of the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party of Canada and the Republican Party of the United States.

In the North Atlantic Treaty Organization

The EPP is also present and active in the Parliamentary Assembly of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and forms the "EPP and Associated Members" Group there. It is led by the German CDU politician Karl Lamers, who is also the current President of the Assembly. The Group also includes members of the Conservative Party of Canada and the Republican Party of the United States.

From left to right: Lopez-Isturiz, McCain & Martens Flickr - europeanpeoplesparty - EPP in the USA (26).jpg
From left to right: López-Istúriz, McCain & Martens

Relations with the United States

The EPP has close relations with the International Republican Institute (IRI), an organisation funded by the U.S. government specially to promote democracy and democratisation. The EPP and the IRI cooperate within the framework of the European Partnership Initiative. [25]

The EPP's late President, Wilfried Martens, endorsed Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for president, in the presidential election in 2008 [26] McCain is also Chairman of the IRI. In 2011 Martens and McCain made joint press statements expressing their concern about the state of democracy in Ukraine. [27] [28]

Global networks

The EPP is the European wing of two global centre-right organisations, the International Democrat Union (IDU) and the Christian Democrat International (CDI).

Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies

Following the revision in 2007 of the EU Regulation that governs European political parties, allowing the creation of European foundations affiliated to Europarties, the EPP established in the same year its official foundation/think tank, the Centre for European Studies (CES). The CES includes as members all the major national think tanks and foundations affiliated to EPP member parties: the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (CDU), the Hanns Seidel Foundation (CSU), the Foundation for Analysis and Social Studies (PP), the Constantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy (ND), the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation (MOD), the Political Academy of the Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) and others. During the European Parliament election campaign in 2009 the CES launched a web-based campaign module,, to support Jose Manuel Barroso, the EPP's candidate for re-election as Commission President.

In 2014, to honour Wilfried Martens - the late President of the EPP who was also President of the CES - the CES changed its name to Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies or Martens Centre.

The current President of the Martens Centre is former Slovak Prime Minister Mikuláš Dzurinda.

The Budapest-based Robert Schuman Institute and the Luxembourg-based Robert Schuman Foundation are also affiliated with the European People's Party.[ citation needed ]

EPP associations

The EPP is linked to several specific associations that focus on specific groups and organise seminars, forums, publications and other activities.

Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Europe (SME Europe)

SME Europe is the official business organisation of the EPP, and serves as a network for pro-business politicians and political organisations. Its main objective is to shape EU policy in a more SME-friendly way in close cooperation with the SME Circle of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, the DG Enterprise and the pro-business organisations of the EPP's member parties. Its top priorities are to reform the legal framework for SMEs all over Europe, and to promote and support the interests of small and medium-sized enterprises. SME Europe was founded in May 2012 by three Members of the European Parliament, Paul Rübig, Nadezhda Neynsky and Bendt Bendtsen.

European Democrat Students

European Democrat Students (EDS) is now the official students’ organisation of the EPP, though it was founded in 1961, 15 years before the EPP itself. Led by Virgilio Falco, EDS has 40 member organisations, representing nearly 1,600,000 students and young people [29] in 31 countries, including Belarus and Georgia. Every year EDS hosts Summer and Winter "universities", and several seminars. It also regularly publishes a magazine, Bullseye, and organises topical campaigns.

European Senior Union

Founded in Madrid in 1995 and led by Ann Hermans of the CD&V, the European Senior Union (ESU) is the largest political senior citizens’ organisation in Europe. The ESCU is represented in 26 states with 45 organisations and about 500,000 members.

European Union of Christian Democratic Workers

The European Union of Christian Democratic Workers (EUCDW) is the labour organisation of the EPP, with 24 member organisations in 18 different countries. As the officially recognised EPP association of workers, the EUCDW is led by Elmar Brok, MEP. It aims at the political unification of a democratic Europe, the development of the EPP on the basis of Christian social teaching, and the defence of workers' interests in European policy-making.

Women of the European People’s Party

The Women of the European People’s Party (EPP Women) is recognised by the EPP as the official association of women from all like-minded political parties of Europe. EPP Women has more than 40 member organisations from countries of the European Union and beyond. All of them are women‘s organisations of political parties that are members of the EPP. EPP Women is led by Doris Pack.

Youth of the European People’s Party

The Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP), led by Lídia Pereira, is the EPP‘s official youth organisation. It has 64 member organisations, bringing together between one and two million young people in 40 countries.


Within the EPP there are three kinds of member organisations: full members, associate members and observers. Full members are parties from EU states. They have absolute rights to vote in all the EPP's organs and on all matters. Associate members have the same voting rights as full members except for matters concerning the EU's structure or policies. These associate membres are parties from EU candidate countries and EFTA countries. Observer parties can participate in all the activities of the EPP, and attend the Congresses and Political Assemblies, but they do not have any voting rights.

A special status of "supporting member" is granted by the Presidency to individuals and associations. Although they do not have voting rights, they can be invited by the President to attend meetings of certain organs of the party. Three EU Commissioners, Dacian Cioloș, Kristalina Georgieva and Andris Piebalgs, are members of the EPP even though they do not belong to any national member party.

Full member parties

CountryParty nameAbbr.Legislature lower house seatsLegislature upper house SeatsStatus
Flag of Austria.svg  Austria Austrian People's Party
Österreichische Volkspartei
61 / 183
22 / 61
Technical Government
Flag of Belgium (civil).svg  Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish
Christen-Democratisch en Vlaams
18 / 150
8 / 60
Humanist Democratic Centre
Centre démocrate humaniste
9 / 150
4 / 60
Flag of Bulgaria.svg  Bulgaria Citizens for the European Development of Bulgaria
Граждани за европейско развитие на България
Grazhdani za evropeĭsko razvitie na Bŭlgariya
95 / 240
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria
Демократи за силна България
Demokrati za silna Bălgarija
0 / 240
No Status
Union of Democratic Forces
Съюз на демократичните сили
Sayuz na demokratichnite sili
0 / 240
No Status
Democratic Party
Демократическа партия
Demokraticheska partia
0 / 240
No Status
Movement "Bulgaria of the Citizens"
Движение „България на гражданите“
Dvizhenie „Bulgariya na grazhdanite“
0 / 240
No Status
Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia Croatian Democratic Union
Hrvatska demokratska zajednica
55 / 151
Flag of Cyprus.svg  Cyprus Democratic Rally
Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός
Dimokratikós Sinagermós
18 / 56
Flag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic TOP 09
7 / 200
2 / 81
Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party
Křesťanská a demokratická unie – Československá strana lidová
10 / 200
16 / 81
Flag of Denmark.svg  Denmark Conservative People's Party
Det Konservative Folkeparti
6 / 179
Christian Democrats
0 / 179
No Status
Flag of Estonia.svg  Estonia Pro Patria
12 / 101
Flag of Finland.svg  Finland National Coalition Party
Kansallinen Kokoomus
38 / 200
Flag of France.svg  France The Republicans
Les Républicains
112 / 577
144 / 348
Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Christian Democratic Union
Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands
200 / 709
Christian Social Union in Bavaria
Christlich-Soziale Union in Bayern
46 / 709
Flag of Greece.svg  Greece New Democracy
Νέα Δημοκρατία
Nea Dimokratia
158 / 300
Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary Christian Democratic People's Party
Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt
16 / 199
Flag of Ireland.svg  Ireland Fine Gael
50 / 158
19 / 60
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy Forza Italia FI
104 / 630
61 / 315
Popular Alternative
Alternativa Popolare
2 / 630
1 / 315
Union of the Centre
Unione di Centro
0 / 630
3 / 315
Populars for Italy
Popolari per l'Italia
0 / 630
0 / 315
No Status
Flag of Latvia.svg  Latvia New Unity
8 / 100
Flag of Lithuania.svg  Lithuania Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats
Tėvynės sąjunga – Lietuvos krikščionys demokratai
31 / 141
Flag of Luxembourg.svg  Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party
Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei
Parti populaire chrétien social
Christlich Soziale Volkspartei
23 / 60
Flag of Malta.svg  Malta Nationalist Party
Partit Nazzjonalista
28 / 67
Flag of the Netherlands.svg  Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal
Christen-Democratisch Appèl
19 / 150
12 / 75
Flag of Poland.svg  Poland Civic Platform
Platforma Obywatelska
136 / 460
33 / 100
Polish People's Party
Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe
15 / 460
0 / 100
Flag of Portugal.svg  Portugal Social Democratic Party
Partido Social Democrata
89 / 230
Democratic and Social Centre - People's Party
Centro Democrático e Social – Partido Popular
18 / 230
Flag of Romania.svg  Romania National Liberal Party
Partidul Național Liberal
69 / 329
30 / 136
Democratic Alliance of Hungarians in Romania
Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség
Uniunea Democrată Maghiară din România
21 / 329
9 / 136
(Government Support)
People's Movement Party
Partidul Mișcarea Populară
18 / 329
8 / 136
Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia Christian Democratic Movement
Kresťanskodemokratické hnutie
0 / 150
No Status
15 / 150
Party of the Hungarian Community
Magyar Közösség Pártja
Strana maďarskej komunity
0 / 150
No Status
Flag of Slovenia.svg  Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party
Slovenska demokratska stranka
25 / 90
Slovenian People's Party
Slovenska ljudska stranka
0 / 90
No Status
New Slovenia–Christian Democrats
Nova Slovenija – Krščanski demokrati
7 / 90
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain People's Party
Partido Popular
66 / 350
74 / 266
Flag of Sweden.svg  Sweden Moderate Party
Moderata samlingspartiet
70 / 349
Christian Democrats
22 / 349

Suspended members

Flag of Hungary.svg  Hungary

Associate members

Flag of Albania.svg  Albania

Flag of North Macedonia.svg  North Macedonia

Flag of Norway.svg  Norway

Flag of Serbia.svg  Serbia

Flag of Switzerland.svg   Switzerland

Observer members

Flag of Armenia.svg  Armenia

Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus

Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Flag of Finland.svg  Finland

Flag of Georgia.svg  Georgia

Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

Flag of Moldova.svg  Moldova

Flag of Norway.svg  Norway

Flag of San Marino.svg  San Marino

Flag of Kosovo.svg  Kosovo

Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine

Former members

Flag of Belarus.svg  Belarus

Flag of France.svg  France

Flag of Croatia.svg  Croatia

Flag of Italy.svg  Italy

Flag of Romania.svg  Romania

Flag of Slovakia.svg  Slovakia

Flag of Spain.svg  Spain

Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey

Flag of Ukraine.svg  Ukraine


  1. The Irish Prime Minister is commonly referred to as the Taoiseach in both Irish and English. See: Article 28.5.1° of the Constitution of Ireland.

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