Preparations appear to be falling into place for the European People’s Party summit in Bucharest on October 16 and 17, at the People’s Palace. The center right party is one of the major political blocks in European politics currently and includes 16 EU heads of state or government among its membership. The presidents of the European Commission and the Council of Europe José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy will attend the summit, along with Germany’s Angela Merkel and the current head of the EPP Wilfried Martens.
The central piece of business for the meeting is the election of a new EPP president, but there will also be discussion of the party’s policy going forward into the upcoming EU summits. The theme of the EPP Congress is ‘More Europe’ and unsurprisingly Europe’s economic difficulties will be on the agenda, however, euro-skepticism is also to be tackled, with the EPP looking for the “strength to resist the populists and demagogues who want to destroy the European Union.”
The decisions made and the policies agreed are likely to have a significant impact on European politics in the near future, given the EPP’s representation, and the party’s ‘Basic Programme’ agreed in Athens in 1992 will be updated.
Romania’s president Basescu is to attend and has already made a welcome speech (in picture). Romania’s PM Victor Ponta has publicly questioned whether Basescu, despite being an EPP member, should even be at the event. Ponta said that the attendance of a partisan event by a Romanian president violates the country’s constitution, as the President is not allowed to be involved in politics, nor attend political party meetings such as the EEP summit.
Other European leaders attending the congress are Mariano Rajoy (Spain), Jean-Claude Juncker (Luxembourg), Donald Tusk (Poland), Fredrik Reinfeldt (Sweden), Jyrki Katainen (Finland), Viktor Orbán (Hungary), Enda Kenny (Ireland), Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia), Boyko Borisov (Bulgaria), Lawrence Gonzi (Malta), Andrius Kubilius (Lithuania), Pedro Passos Coelho (Portugal), Janez Janša (Slovenia) and Antonis Samaras (Greece).
The EPP Congress is providing a mini-boom for Bucharest’s hospitality industry, some 1,200 guests are expected to attend the event staying at the JW Marriot, the Intercontinental, the Novotel and the Howard Johnson Plaza hotels, among others, with many hotels already fully booked. A dinner is also scheduled at well-known Bucharest restaurant Caru Cu Bere, which will be closed to the public for the event.
Live streaming of the congress here.
Liam Lever, firstname.lastname@example.org
(photo source: EEP Flick stream)