European Western Balkans

40 years of the EPP Party

Donald Tusk

LUXEMBOURG – Yesterday, the European People’s Party celebrated 40th anniversary. To mark this important event for the EPP organised commemorative event, co-hosted by CSV Luxembourg (Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei) and opened by Donald Tusk, President of European Council and Vice President of EPP.

EU leaders promoting utopian “illusions” of a united Europe have lost touch with its peoples and risk losing out to Eurosceptic populists bent on breaking up the bloc, Donald Tusk said yesterday.

“Obsessed with the idea of instant and total integration, we failed to notice that ordinary people, the citizens of Europe do not share our Euro-enthusiasm,” Tusk said.

“Disillusioned with the great visions of the future, they demand that we cope with the present reality better than we have been doing until now.”

Among many, keynote speakers were Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission and Herman Van Rompuy, Former President of the European Council.

Also as co-host Marc Spautz, President of CSV addressed the meeting together with Joseph Daul, President of the EPP, Manfred Weber, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament and Antonio López-Istúriz, Secretary General of the EPP.

The EPP was founded by Christian democratic parties in 1976, it has since broadened its membership to include conservative parties and parties with other centre-right political perspectives. The EPP includes around 70 parties together with major parties such as the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU), The Republicans (LR) of France, or the People’s Party (PP) of Spain, and it has member parties in all of the EU member states except the United Kingdom.

Within the EPP there are three kinds of member organisations: full members, associate members and observers.

In Western Balkan countries full members of EPP are parties from Croatia and Albania, Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), Croatian Peasant Party (HSS) and Democratic Party of Albania (PD). Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE) and Alliance of Vojvodina Hungarians (VMSZ/SVM) have status of associate members.

Observers form Bosnia and Herzegovina are Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Croatian Democratic Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (HDZ BiH), Party of Democratic Progress (PDP) and Croatian Democratic Union 1990 (HDZ 1990), and also Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK).

There is no members form Montenegro. No major party form Serbia is member of EPP, even Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) is part of the EPP group in the Council of Europe.

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