Uniting Europe since 1953
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Europe’s Founding Fathers – French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Italian Prime Minister Alcide de Gasperi – wanted to rebuild a peaceful Europe. They worked together to take the first crucial step in creating a united Europe, forming the European Coal and Steel Community. Our Group, the then Christian-Democratic Group, was founded on 23 June 1953 as a political faction in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community.
The following generation set its sights on the European integration needed for Europe's economy to develop into a single, large marketplace. Europe’s institutes grew alongside integration, with the European Parliament holding its first elections in 1979. We changed our name to the Group of the European People's Party.
Inspired by the idea of reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall and demise of communism, the EPP offered their full support to the emerging pluralist democracies. Centre-right non-communist parties won the support of the people, with our Group becoming, and remaining, the largest in the European Parliament after the European Elections of July 1999.
Over the years we have adjusted our political philosophy to take stock of the changing electorate and have welcomed moderate and Conservative political groups from Scandinavia and Central and Eastern Europe. Between 1999 and 2009 we changed our name to the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, reverting to the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) in June 2009.