EPP Group Study Days and European People's Party Congress in Bucharest

The answer is more Europe
17/10/2012 - 09:00
- 18/10/2012 - 10:30
Τελευταία ενημέρωση: 08/02/2013 - 11:45
Bucharest, Romania

EPP to define its political direction for the next decade

Over 1200 participants from 40 countries have been invited to Bucharest where the European People's Party will hold its Congress and its traditional Summit of Heads of State and Government of the EPP political family. This event, hosted by the PDL and RMDSZ Parties in the Romanian Chamber of Deputies, will take place on 16-18 October and will elect the new Presidency to lead the European People's Party for the next three years.

A new political platform

The Bucharest Congress will also be significant because of the planned adoption of a new political platform which will determine the political direction of the EPP for the next decade. The last Basic programme had been adopted at the EPP Congress in Athens in 1992 and had clearly positioned the EPP as the driving force behind the reunification of Europe. 20 years after Athens, we can look back to see Poland and France, Latvia and Belgium sitting side-by-side at the same table as equal partners.

View the Congress programme.
The EPP Congress will be livestreamed at www.epp2012.eu.

Selecting a candidate for Commission President

The Congress will also mark the start of a process of proposing an EPP candidate for President of the European Commission. Under new EU rules, the nomination of Commission President takes into account the results of the European elections. This has opened up space for European parties to propose their candidates for the top post, in stark contrast to the previous practice of consensus among Member-State leaders on the nomination.

In 2009, the EPP already pre-empted the entry-into-force of these new rules and proposed José Manuel Barroso as candidate for Commission President. After a sweeping victory at the 2009 European elections, Barroso took office for his second term.

The EPP Summit

The EPP's 16 EU Heads of State and Government have been invited to participate in the EPP Summit, which will take place on Wednesday evening, 17 October: Traian BASESCU (Romania), Angela MERKEL (Germany), 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).

EPP Group Study Days

In parallel to the Congress, the EPP Group will hold its Study Days. One of the main topics of the Study Days will be 'Employment and Social Cohesion'. The first morning of debates will focus on promoting growth and jobs in a Europe of greater solidarity. On the second morning, MEPs and other participants will discuss how to fill the gap between the interests of copyright holders and Internet users.

Among the participants will be: Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship; Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services; Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner for Regional Policy; Dacian Cioloş, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development and Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

View the Study Days programme below.
The EPP Group Study days will be livestreamed at www.eppgroup.eu.

Four freedoms for growth

The EPP Group is going to the Congress with a clear political objective. Since its creation 20 years ago, the European Single Market has been a vessel for growth and jobs in Europe. The four freedoms of movement enshrined by the concept of the Single Market, i.e. the freedom of movement of people, of services, of goods and of capital, have, for younger generations, become synonymous with the EU. Internal border controls within the EU on goods have been abolished, as well as customs controls on people. EU countries mutually recognise national rules on their manufactured products, being allowed to place them on the EU common market. The liberalisation of the services sector is another objective, created through the mutual recognition and coordination of national rules on certain professions.

However, a lot still needs to be done. Still today, obstacles impede people from moving to another EU country or doing certain types of work there. Businesses continue to face problems accessing public procurement contracts, and EU consumers still do not know many of their rights. EU citizens are not informed about their social security when travelling abroad, unaware of the existence of the European health insurance card. In terms of legislation, there is also a gap between the EU legal framework and its application in the various Member States, hindering citizens and companies from fully participating in the common market.

In Bucharest, the EPP Group will aim to have the EPP family renew its commitment to the objectives of the Single Market. There are opportunities in areas like e-commerce or the services sector that can help create jobs in Europe. We need to help people seize those opportunities by creating good laws, but also making sure the laws are applied.

We want to send a message from Bucharest that by promoting our four freedoms, we can grow out of the crisis!

Follow us on Facebook where we will post our priorities on the single market.

Follow us on Twitter for live tweets of the event using the hashtags #4Freedoms4Growth and #EPP2012.

Χρονοδιάγραμμα εκδήλωσης
View/hide Timetable
Welcome speeches
Joseph DAUL, MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament (EP), Ex-Officio Vice-President of the European People's Party
Wilfried MARTENS, President of the European People's Party
Vasile BLAGA, Chairman of the PDL Party (Partidul Democrat Liberal), Romania
Hunor KELEMEN, Chairman of the RMDSZ Party (Romániai Magyar Demokrata Szövetség), Romania
Theodor Dumitru STOLOJAN, MEP, Head of the Romanian Delegation of the EPP Group in the EP
chaired by
Corien WORTMANN-KOOL, MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in the EP responsible for the Economy and Environment Working Group, Vice-President of the European People's Party
Antonio TAJANI, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, Vice-President of the European People's Party
Michel BARNIER, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, Vice-President of the European People's Party
Ralf BRAUKSIEPE, State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
Alexandra GǍTEJ, CEO, Maldon and Wat
Amalia SARTORI, MEP, Chairwoman of the Industry, Research and Energy Committee in the EP
chaired by
Marian-Jean MARINESCU, MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group in the EP responsible for the Budget and Structural Policies Working Group
Johannes HAHN, European Commissioner for Regional Policy
Dacian CIOLOȘ, European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Ramón Luis VALCÁRCEL SISO, President of the Committee of the Regions
Michael SCHNEIDER, President of the EPP Group in the Committee of the Regions
Lambert van NISTELROOIJ, MEP, EPP Group Coordinator in the Regional Development Committee of the EP, Rapporteur on the General Regulation on Structural Funds
Official Conclusions

17-18 October 2012
Brătianu Hall, Parliament Palace
Bucharest - ROMANIA





The current economic crisis and fiscal instability have jeopardised the European model of social market economy based on the stability of public finances and growth. These two elements are literally two sides of the same coin. The EPP Group intends to vigorously defend this model and for this reason, adopted the Competitiveness and Growth Pack in June 2012.

Indeed, the EPP is convinced that Europe must tackle these policies together and not oppose them against each other. This complementarity is particularly illustrated in youth unemployment: the Union must have an effective policy to combat the current trend without accumulating insurmountable debts that will finally be paid by these young people. Responses should be based on what works in some Member States (apprenticeships, better matching the needs of the market with labour supply, adequate legal framework for mobility).

Also, taking the path of employment and strengthening social cohesion and solidarity in Europe require new engines for economic growth. They will be possible if deep structural reforms for competitiveness of our businesses and reduction of our deficits are undertaken. In addition, the EU must implement the new industrial policy strategy recently adopted so that Europe remains an area of production and make targeted investments with growth potential (KETs through Horizon 2020).

The Single Market Act, of which the second part has just been launched, is the bearer of this will to reform. It aims to unlock the Single Market's growth potential but also to fight against unemployment and further promote a united Europe. Improving the recognition of professional qualifications will provide better mobility for European professionals. The revision of the Directive on the Posting of Workers will improve the existing legal framework to ensure greater legal certainty for workers moving within the European Union.

Finally, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, representing 95% of our economy, must feel that the Union is creating new opportunities rather than new constraints. In this regard, the EPP calls for the full implementation of the Directive on Late Payments as well as the adoption of the proposal on European venture capital funds.


As far as cohesion and agriculture policies are concerned, the EPP Group underlines that investment policies facilitate economic recovery, create jobs, generate growth and competitiveness, reduce disparities between regions and enhance European integration.

Therefore the EPP considers it necessary to ensure an adequate budget for these two policies, at least at the level of the European Commission's proposals, as through their renewed architecture, outcome-oriented mechanisms and leverage effect, they are capable of fully delivering the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Cuts in the respective budgets would not solve current financial difficulties, but moreover, they would generate bigger problems for the future, depriving the EU of vital investments for its future economic growth and competitiveness.

The upcoming presentation of figures for the next Multiannual Financial Framework by the Cypriot Presidency must therefore include adequate budgets for both cohesion and agriculture policies.

The EPP Group emphasises the main principles of these policy reforms, such as solidarity, multi-level governance, the partnership principle and stresses the need for increased complementarities and coordination at EU level between them in order to increase their visibility and deliver a more competitive and integrated Union.

The EPP Group is committed to defending the main European objectives delivered by these policies in all European regions and to work together within the new framework proposed, with a view to maximising their European added value. It underlines the importance of one strong EPP line defended by all EU Institutions.


The Internet has profoundly transformed how we access and use information. As powerful, exciting and ground-breaking as these developments are, they also require a permanent search for the appropriate balance between individual freedom and other of our common values, such as the protection of minors, data protection, authors' rights etc. The EPP Group strives to preserve the extraordinary social and economic potential, guaranteeing freedom of expression, free flow of information and access for everyone as well as taking care of individual rights and business needs to keep innovation and job creation in the EU.

On 5 September 2011, the EPP Group adopted its position 'A Fair Internet for All', the three key demands for a future EU Internet policy are our guidance: coherently apply the principle of transparency; strengthen users' online rights; and guarantee fair competition in the Internet. The discussion at the EPP Group meeting in Bucharest on 17 October 2012 further elaborated on some of the ten demands which are part of this position.

Intellectual Property Rights

The protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) is one of the pillars of the economic use of the Internet and a prerequisite of the digital economy in the EU. Preserving IPRs as a source of revenues is pivotal for creative and innovative individuals, business and for preserving a free and independent press. More and more copyright-protected works (music, books, movies, TV shows, games, software and newspapers) are illegally available on the Internet without the authorisation of the right holders.

The debate showed that controversial positions are being taken and innovative and interesting proposals are being considered: the introduction of an optional copyright regime at EU level, simplifying copyrights in order to modernise and adapt the existing mechanisms, e.g. by using the fair use concept. The alleged information monopolies, restricting access to information, were debated. In conclusion, Members of the Group underlined that freedom on the Internet can only be guaranteed if rights and obligations are enshrined in law.

The EPP Group is striving to find the right balance and fill the gap between the interests of the copyright rightful holders and the users. In this sense, trust of users, consumers and businesses in the online environment is a key challenge for the future successful growth of the digital arena.

Securing Competition

Contrary to its early days, the Internet today faces a concentration of market power in the hands of a very small number of enterprises. From an EPP Group perspective, the existing EU legal framework offers sufficient possibilities to address possible distortions of competition, but needs to be used more actively. The abuse of market dominance, as well as uncompetitive behaviour, has to face prompt and efficient sanctions. We call on the European Commission to actively engage in this matter.

Data Protection

Privacy is a key fundamental right for the EPP Group; this is why the proposed modernisation of the European data protection laws is essential for stimulating the development of the digital economy across the EU's Single Market. The current fragmentation of data protection laws needs to be replaced by a single legal framework, creating legal certainty and transparency regarding where data is stored, how it is used and processed. For the EPP, an important issue is finding the right balance between the need to have harmonised EU data protection rules in the new Regulation and important other fundamental rights and principles, which will continue to be dealt with at national level.

Cloud computing has very rapidly become a reality and will change the sector significantly in a short time. The EU has to tackle the problems resulting from the introduction of cloud computing immediately. European enterprises need a legally sound basis for successful business models. Therefore clarifying these issues with regard to data protection, jurisdiction, security and standards is high on the EPP Group's agenda.

The Internet has challenged the way people relate to information, the social interaction and the existing business models. For this reason, there is a need for a debate on new possible business models necessary for assessing all the challenges the Internet brings along and the way forward towards a competitive digital Europe. The EPP Group aims to play a leading role in this debate that will have important consequences on the economic growth much needed in these times of crisis.

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