EPP Congress and EUCDW Presidium in Malta
Today marked the first day of the XXIV Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP), which was held on 29 and 30 March 2017 in Malta. The first day’s plenary session featured addresses by the EPP’s non-EU heads of state and government, EU oppositions leaders and non-EU oppositions leaders.
The EPP Congress opened as British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50, officially starting the process by which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. Regarding this process, the EPP President made the following statement:
“Our priority in negotiations with the UK will be to protect the rights and freedoms of more than 4 million EU citizens living in the UK and the interests of all people from the EU 27. We also expect that the UK will comply with its financial obligations. The exit bill must be fully paid, as it is customary that one not leave the table without paying the bill. We will also focus on the Irish border, as we must do everything possible to avoid reinstating a hard border with Northern Ireland. In the upcoming talks with the UK, the 27 Member States and the 3 EU institutions must speak with one voice. Unity will be our strength. The UK is an important partner, and we hope for an amicable atmosphere in these discussions.”
At the EPP Congress, delegates discussed how the European People’s Party can secure Europe’s future. This security is not only about safety, but also about economic stability, social protection and about preparing Europe for the next generations.
EUCDW President Elmar Brok took part in the panel debate on the Future of Work in Europe, stressing that in a highly competitive European Social Market Economy economic competitiveness and social progress must go hand in hand and we must ensure that in the future, as in the past, everybody who works continues to have fair and effective income and protection.
Sixteen political positions were adopted on 29 March:
Prior to the start of the EPP Congress, we also held a joint EUCDW Presidium meeting together with the members of the EPP Workers’ Group in the European Parliament, where MEP Elisabeth Morin-Chartier, co-rapporteur on the Revision of the Posting of Workers Directive in the European Parliament, went into the details on the state of play of the revision.
On the second day, the plenary session featured addresses by the EPP’s EU heads of state and government, leaders of the EU institutions – European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani and EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber – as well as EPP leaders.
The Congress outlined the EPP’s vision for how to secure Europe’s future for the next decade.
On the second day of the EPP Congress, the delegates also adopted a resolution entitled “On a cohesive society: Countering Islamic extremism.”
Following the Congress, EPP heads of state and government, as well as opposition leaders, met for an EPP Summit, where the situation in the Western Balkans was extensively discussed.
Finally, Europol, represented by its director, Robert Wainwright, was awarded the EPP Merit Award for its work in protecting European citizens and in making Europe a safer place. At the same time, EPP thanked all the police forces across Europe for their extraordinary service in order to keep the European people safe and secure.