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Founded in 1976

The European People’s Party (EPP) is the political family of the 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. Tracing back its roots to Europe’s Founding Fathers – Robert SCHUMAN, Alcide DE GASPERI, and Konrad ADENAUER – the EPP is committed to a strong Europe based on a federal model that relies on the principle of subsidiarity.

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Founded in 1976, the EPP strives for a democratic, transparent and efficient Europe that is close to its citizens. The EPP wants a prosperous Europe through the promotion of a free market economy with a social consciousness. The EPP is the EU’s centre-right party and its largest and most influential political family. The EPP currently includes 84 parties and partners from 43 countries, the President of the European Commission, 10 EU and 3 non-EU heads of state and government, 10 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.

The EPP is governed under the 2003 “EU Regulation on political parties at European level and the rules regarding their funding.” In late 2007, this Regulation was revised in order to allow all European level political parties to campaign for the European Parliament elections. As a result of this mandate, the EPP conducted – in close cooperation with its national member-parties – its first Europe-wide campaign for the June 2009 elections and reinforced its leading position in the European Parliament.

Lessons and Experiences of cooperation

Political formations of the centre-right can be tracked back to the early 1920s. The first attempt at cooperation between like-minded Christian Democrats was made in 1926, when the International Secretariat of Democratic Parties of Christian Inspiration (Secrétariat International des Partis Démocratiques d’Inspiration Chrétienne, SIPDIC) was founded.

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The lessons and experiences of cooperation between 1925 and 1939 were key when leaders of the re-established or newly founded Christian Democratic parties in Europe formed the New International Teams (Nouvelles Équipes Internationales, NEI) in 1946 after World War II.

From the middle of the 1950s onwards the NEI lost relevance. With the European Coal and Steel Community and the foundation of the European Economic Community (EEC), practical cooperation among Christian Democrats gradually shifted in favour of the framework presented by the Common Assembly and the European Parliament. The organisation revitalised itself by changing its name to the European Union of Christian Democrats (EUCD) and revising the key aims of the organisation. The EUCD forged a closer relationship with the Parliamentary group of European Christian Democrats and the national member parties, and steadily grew more ambitious in its vision for Europe. With the decision to organise direct elections for the European Parliament in 1979, the need for a truly European party became evident.