European People's Party Group

European People's Party parliamentary group
European parliamentary group
Name European People's Party parliamentary group
English abbr.

(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])
European parties European People's Party

11 September 1952

23 June 1953
To present
Chaired by Manfred Weber[10]
216 / 751

The European People's Party group (EPP Group) is the political group in the European Parliament consisting of deputies (MEPs) from the member parties of the European People's Party (EPP).[11][12][13] In this respect, there is a distinction between the European People's Party (an umbrella party of centre-right national political parties from across Europe) and the EPP Group (which only exists in the European Parliament). The group comprises politicians of Christian democratic and liberal-conservative orientation.[14][15][16]

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. This makes it one of the oldest EU political groups. Its size has given it influence in all the EU's institutions. It has been the largest political group in the European Parliament since 1999. In the European Council, 14 out of 28 Heads of State and Government belong to the EPP family and in the European Commission, 13 out of 28 Commissioners come from EPP 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[17] and the first Christian Democratic group was unofficially formed the next day, with Maan Sassen as President.[9][18] The group held 38 of the 78 seats, two short of an absolute majority.[9][19] On 16 June 1953 the Common Assembly passed a resolution[20] enabling the official formation of political groups, and on 23 June 1953 the constituent declaration[21] of the group was published and the group was officially formed.[9][19]

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.[22] 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.[22]

This policy lead to Greek New Democracy and Spanish People's Party MEPs joining the EPP Group.[22] 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.[22] 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 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[23] and finally left following the 2009 elections, when the Czech Civic Democrats and British Conservatives 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 is now the only EU member state not to have representation in the EPP Group.[24]

Logo of European People's Party Group from 1999 to 2015.

Membership at formation

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



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 18 September 2008 are as follows:


The national parties that have Members of the EPP Group are as follows:

The EPP Group has MEPs from all but one member state.



Native names

MEPs 2009–14

MEPs 2014–19
 Austria Austrian People's Party Österreichische Volkspartei 6 Decrease 5
 Belgium Christian Democratic and Flemish Christen-Democratisch & Vlaams 3 Decrease 2
Humanist Democratic Centre Centre Démocrate Humaniste 1 Steady 1
Christian Social Party * Christlich Soziale Partei 1 Steady 1
 Bulgaria Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria Latin: Grazhdani Za Evropeysko Razvitie Na Balgariya
Cyrillic: Граждани за европейско развитие на България
5 Increase 6
Union of Democratic Forces Latin: Sayuz Na Demokratichnite Sili
Cyrillic: Съюз на демократичните сили
1 Decrease 0
Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria Latin: Demokrati Za Silna Balgariya
Cyrillic: Демократи за силна България
1 Decrease 0
Reformist Bloc Latin: Reformatorski bloc
Cyrillic: Реформаторски блок
Increase 1
 Croatia Croatian Democratic Union Hrvatska demokratska zajednica 5 Steady 5
 Cyprus Democratic Rally Latin: Dimokratikós Sinayermós

Greek: Δημοκρατικός Συναγερμός
2 Decrease 1
 Czech Republic Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party Křesťanská a demokratická unie - Československá strana lidová 2 Increase 3
TOP 09 TOP 09 Increase 3
Mayors and Independents[27] Starostové a nezávislí Increase 1
 Denmark Conservative People's Party Det Konservative Folkeparti 1 Steady 1
 Estonia Pro Patria and Res Publica Union Erakond Isamaa ja Res Publica Liit 1 Steady 1
 Finland National Coalition Party Kansallinen Kokoomus 3 Steady 3
Christian Democrats Suomen kristillisdemokraatit 1 Decrease 0
 France The Republicans Les Républicains 27 Decrease 19
Union of Democrats and Independents Union des Démocrates et Indépendants 6 Decrease 0
Independent Independent 0 Increase 1
 Germany Christian Democratic Union Christlich Demokratische Union Deutschlands 34 Decrease 28
Christian Social Union of Bavaria Christlich-Soziale Union In Bayern e.V. 8 Decrease 6
 Greece New Democracy Latin: Néa Dimokratiá

Greek: Νέα Δημοκρατία
7 Decrease 5
 Hungary Fidesz - Hungarian Civic Union Fidesz - Magyar Polgári Szövetség 13 Decrease 11
Christian Democratic People's Party Kereszténydemokrata Néppárt 1 Steady 1
 Ireland Fine Gael Fine Gael 4 Steady 4
 Italy Forza Italia Forza Italia 14 Decrease 11
New Centre-Right Nuovo Centrodestra 3 Decrease 3
Union of the Centre Unione di Centro 1
South Tyrolean People's Party Südtiroler Volkspartei 1 Steady 1
 Latvia Unity Vienotība 4 Steady 4
 Lithuania Homeland Union – Lithuanian Christian Democrats Tėvynės Sąjunga - Lietuvos Krikščionys Demokratai 4 Decrease 2
Independent Independent 0 Increase 1
 Luxembourg Christian Social People's Party Luxembourgish: Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei

French: Parti Populaire Chrétien Social

German: Christlich Soziale Volkspartei
3 Steady 3
 Malta Nationalist Party Partit Nazzjonalista 2 Increase 3
 Netherlands Christian Democratic Appeal Christen-Democratisch Appèl 5 Steady 5
 Poland Civic Platform Platforma Obywatelska 25 Decrease 19
Polish People's Party Polskie Stronnictwo Ludowe 4 Steady 4
 Portugal Social Democratic Party Partido Social Democrata 8 Decrease 6
Democratic and Social Centre – People's Party Centro Democrático e Social - Partido Popular 2 Decrease 1
 Romania National Liberal Party Partidul National Liberal 12 Decrease 8
Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania Uniunea Democrată Maghiară Din România 3 Decrease 2
People's Movement Party Partidul Mișcarea Populară Increase 1
Independent Independent Increase 1
 Slovakia Slovak Democratic and Christian Union - Democratic Party Slovenská Demokratická A Kresťanská Únia - Demokraticka Strana 2 Decrease 1
Christian Democratic Movement Kresťanskodemokratické Hnutie 2 Steady 2
Party of the Hungarian Coalition Strana Maďarskej Koalície - Magyar Koalício Pártja 2 Decrease 1
Most–Híd Most–Híd Increase 1
Independent Independent Increase 1
 Slovenia Slovenian Democratic Party Slovenska Demokratska Stranka 3 Steady 3
New Slovenia – Christian People's Party Nova Slovenija - Krščanska Ljudska Stranka 1 Steady 1
Slovenian People's Party Slovenska ljudska stranka Increase 1
 Spain People's Party Partido Popular 24 Decrease 16
Democratic Union of Catalonia Unió Democràtica de Catalunya 1 Steady 1
 Sweden Moderate Party Moderata Samlingspartiet 4 Decrease 3
Christian Democrats Kristdemokraterna 1 Steady 1
 United Kingdom None 0 Steady 0
Total 274 216


In the news

Activities performed by the group in the period between June 2004 and June 2008 include monitoring elections in Palestine[28] and the Ukraine;[29] encouraging transeuropean rail travel,[30] telecoms deregulation,[31] energy security,[32] a common energy policy,[33] the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the Union,[34] partial reform of the CAP[35] and attempts to tackle illegal immigration;[36][37][38] denouncing Russian involvement in South Ossetia;[39][40][41][42][43] supporting the Constitution Treaty[44][45][46] and the Lisbon Treaty;[47][48] debating globalisation,[33][49] relations with China,[50] and Taiwan;[51] backing plans to outlaw Holocaust denial;[52] nominating Anna Politkovskaya for the 2007 Sakharov Prize;[53] expelling Daniel Hannan from the Group;[54] the discussion about whether ED MEPs should remain within EPP-ED or form a group of their own;[55][56][57] criticisms of the group's approach to tackle low turnout for the 2009 elections[58] and the group's use of the two-President arrangement.[59]

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[60] 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.[61] 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 summarised 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 (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.

See also


  1. 1 2 "Democracy in the European Parliament" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Political Groups of the European Parliament". Archived from the original on May 17, 2011. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "EPP-ED on Europe Politique". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  4. 1 2 "Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  5. European Parliament archive entry for Hans-Gert Pöttering (incl. Membership)
  6. European Parliament archive entry for Joseph Daul (incl. Membership)
  7. "Group names 1999". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  8. 1 2 3 European Parliament archive entry for Egon Klepsch (incl. Membership)
  9. 1 2 3 4 5 "EPP-ED Chronology 02". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  10. "Weber elected new EPP leader".
  11. Andreas Staab (2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  12. Robert Thomson (2011). Resolving Controversy in the European Union: Legislative Decision-Making Before and After Enlargement. Cambridge University Press. p. 103. ISBN 978-1-139-50517-8. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  13. Senem Ayd?n-Düzgit (2012). Constructions of European Identity: Debates and Discourses on Turkey and the EU. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-137-28351-1.
  14. John Peterson; Michael Shackleton (2012). The Institutions of the European Union. Oxford University Press. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-19-957498-8. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  15. Lluís Maria de Puig (2008). International Parliaments. Council of Europe. p. 61. ISBN 978-92-871-6450-6. Retrieved 9 August 2013.
  16. Alexander H. Trechsel (2013). Towards a Federal Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-317-99818-1.
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Composition of the Common Assembly (10-13 September 1952)".
  18. "Sassen, Emanuel Marie Joseph Anthony (1911–1995)". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  19. 1 2 "Microsoft Word – 2006EN-3-DEF-CH.doc" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  20. Common Assembly Resolution (16 June 1953) in Journal officiel de la CECA, 21 July 1953, S. 155
  21. "Statement of formation of the Christian-Democratic Group (Strasbourg, 23 June 1953)".
  22. 1 2 3 4 ""Shaping Europe – 25 years of the European People's Party" by Wilfried Martens, President of the European People's Party". Archived from the original on 12 December 2012. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  23. Mulvey, Stephen (2006-07-11). "article 5169268". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  24. EPP Group Members by Country Retrieved 16 June 2012.
  25. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "EPP-ED Member List". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  26. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "EPP Group structure". 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  27. Hověžák, Zdeněk. "Programovou konference poslaneckého klubu ELS". Starostové a nezávislí. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  28. "European Parliament website document 20041208". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  29. "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-parliament-group-demands-ukraine-election-observers"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  30. "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-group-backs-eu-rail-shake-up"". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  31. "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-backs-eu-telecoms-shake-up"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  32. "Economy".
  33. 1 2 "Scoop article S00580". 2007-11-15. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  34. "European Commission article 290906 EN". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  35. "EurActiv article 112860". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  36. "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2582". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  37. "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2912". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  38. "MaltaMedia Online Network article 2257". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  39. "The Parliament Magazine article "epp-ed-chief-slams-russian-recognition-of-georgian-regions"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  40. "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-brok-and-karas-sent-to-georgia-to-report-on-developments"". 2008-08-19. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  41. "The Parliament Magazine article "top-mep-brands-moscow-brutal-over-georgia"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  42. "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-aid-to-georgia-too-slow-says-mep"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  43. "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-on-eu-leaders-to-condemn-russian-intimidation"". 2005-03-30. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  44. "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-call-for-eu-constitution-re-run-in-france"". 2005-08-31. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  45. "EurActiv article 140105". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  46. "Forbes article 2081969". 2005-08-06. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  47. "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-appeal-to-irish-to-back-eu-reform-treaty"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  48. "The Parliament Magazine article "meps-kosovo-and-lisbon-treaty-should-top-eu-agenda"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  49. "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-debates-21st-century-globalisation"". 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  50. (2008-04-29). "People's Daily article 6401313". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  51. "The Parliament Magazine article "more-meps-call-for-taiwans-membership-of-un-agencies"". 2009-02-24. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  52. "The Parliament Magazine article "eu-plans-to-outlaw-holocaust-denial"". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  53. "European Parliament website document 20070906FCS10161". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  54. EurActiv article 170049 Archived August 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  55. Castle, Stephen; Grice, Andrew (2006-07-13). "Independent on Sunday article 407730". London: Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  56. "article 5053682". BBC News. 2006-06-06. Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  57. Times article 766719
  58. EurActiv article 171155 Archived January 9, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  59. Bernd Riegert (dsl) (2004-07-20). "Deutsche Welle article 1272316". Retrieved 2010-06-17.
  60. Plenary sitting - Home. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  61. "EPP Group: Publications". Retrieved 2010-06-17.

External links

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