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The recent migration crisis, the terrorist threat, radical economic changes, and a world in disorder have shown us that the upcoming years will be decisive for everyone in Europe. A strong Europe that can defend itself can also preserve our values and our unique way of life.
Tough times require an ambitious political plan and leaders that are up to this responsibility. Your future depends on our ability to protect people, preserve our unique European way of life, and make Europe fit for the future. To achieve this, we do not need fear, blame games, or unrealistic dreams - we need values, ambition and hope. What the EPP Group wants is to deliver a protected, proud, confident, and future-oriented Europe.
One of the most important freedoms that EU citizens enjoy is passport-free travel within the EU Schengen area. We can only guarantee this freedom if we secure our external borders so we can monitor who is crossing them at all times.
We welcome those people in genuine need of protection, while we believe we should discourage those trying to come to the EU illegally, through policies of robust border management and effective returns.
After a series of terrorist attacks, which rocked Europe in recent years, we were the first political force to understand the urgency of beefing up Europe’s security infrastructure. Terrorism is a global threat that needs to be tackled at local, national, European, regional and global levels.
While the fight against terrorism is the exclusive competence of Member States, the EPP Group believes that the EU should do everything to facilitate the work of national law enforcement.
With the emergence of hybrid warfare, cyber attacks, new forms of terrorism and the proliferation of nuclear weapons, Europe is facing its biggest dangers since the Cold War. Threats to our energy supply can also be used by third countries to attack us. Europe needs to provide for its own security and increase defence cooperation between Member States.
To boost the European economy, we need sustainable economic policies and reforms that bring the living standards of all Europeans closer together, based on Social Market Economy principles, the completion of the Single Market, innovation-driven projects and fair trade priorities. With initiatives such as the European Fund for Strategic Investments, we mobilised private investments, which helps SMEs and creates new jobs in Europe.
One out of every seven jobs in the EU depends on trade with the outside world. Free trade creates economic growth and jobs and strengthens Europe’s political and economic relations with third countries. While other political forces blame trade for poverty, we believe that it is the best way to improve living standards and reduce poverty in the EU and around the world.
The digital economy is the cornerstone of growth and employment in the EU. It is fundamental to the modernisation of traditional industry, but consumers need to be at the heart of the Digital Single Market. We are leading the effort to create the right environment for the digital economy to thrive, deliver broader choices to consumers and promote social inclusion.
Young people are the future! We believe they are the driving force for our future growth. Our Group wants young people to enhance entrepreneurship with their education and training skills for a better future and job opportunities. Also, with programmes like Erasmus and DiscoverEU, they will have the chance to broaden their minds and meet new people from all over Europe. Young people will have the opportunity to demonstrate their skills and qualifications everywhere in an EU country.
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the European economy. They drive innovation, adapt easily to market forces, wield a powerful economic impact across business sectors, generate employment and provide a qualified young workforce. Europe must create an environment in which SMEs can flourish, providing the right financial and legal conditions for start- and scale-up companies.
Europe has a leading role in the fight against climate change and in the commitment to drive progress towards a low-carbon economy to achieve the ambitious Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature increases to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Europe needs to speed up, catch up, and renew its ambitions to shape the digital world, because innovation policy will decide how we can ensure our European way of life in the future. Innovation has always been at the core of European DNA: we need Europeans to dream again of a Europe that drives innovation in the world. The prosperity of our European societies as well our social security in the future depends largely on innovation.
Digitalisation, globalisation and the emergence of Internet giants call for more discussion in Europe about what 'fairness' means in the 21st century and how we want to shape a fair Europe for the future. We want a new fair deal for Europe, starting with fair taxation: digital businesses should contribute to social justice in our societies.
We are committed to a strong sustainable, competitive and fair Common Agricultural Policy so that our farmers can do what they do best: produce our uniquely European, high-quality food and preserve our unique rural areas.
Support to young farmers to ensure the future of European food production is key for our Group and European farmers need protection from unfair trading practices in the food supply chain.