The EPP Group actively develops strong relationships with all EPP parliamentary groups represented in EU national parliaments. We believe strong political dialogue with these groups not only makes the EU more responsive to citizens but also strengthens our Group’s priorities and initiatives in the EU. By working together, we make better EU laws, bridge the distance with our citizens and ultimately strengthen European democracy.
Our Group believes these parliamentary groups, being close to EU citizens, are crucial to democracy in Europe. That’s why we support their involvement in the EU’s political debates.
In areas where the EU does not have exclusive competence (areas not currently covered by EU law), national parliaments ensure any eventual EU legislation is preferential to local or national measures under the principle of subsidiarity. We believe cooperation should focus on what we think Europe should do for a more prosperous and safer future for European citizens.
Very early on, the EPP Group recognised the importance of continuous political debate with EPP parliamentary groups in national parliaments on matters relating to Europe. We were the first Group to establish formal relations like this, bringing the national parliaments into the mix earlier in the legislative cycle. And because it is essential that decisions about the future of Europe are taken by politicians and political parties that are accountable rather than by institutions or anonymous bureaucracies, these interparliamentary meetings are crucial to providing a solid basis for future European integration.
We hold regular meetings with elected national parliamentarians from the EPP family and have established networks between them and MEPs. The most important of these interparliamentary gatherings are the Summits of Chairs of EPP-affiliated national parties. Other meetings include the EU Affairs Network and the Young Members’ Network.
Summits of EPP Chairs
The Summits bring together all EPP parliamentary group chairs in the EU national parliaments and in the European Parliament. They meet twice a year in Brussels to form a common view on the EPP Group's political perspectives and priorities and to discuss topical European issues. The Presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commission, and European Commissioners if they belong to the EPP political family, can be invited to participate in the Summits.
EU Affairs Network
The EU Affairs Network brings together EPP Group MEPs and the national parliamentarians who are their group’s spokesperson on European affairs. These are either the Chairs or Vice-Chairs of the national parliamentary committees dealing with EU affairs or the spokespersons of the chairs of parliamentary groups. They meet on a regular basis. The aim is to debate current political issues in a more detailed way to further shape mutual understanding and improve ways of working together.
Young Members Network
The EPP Group’s Young Members Network consists of Members of national parliaments from the EPP political family and EPP Group Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) up to the age of 40 at the time of their election. This Network initiated a popular exchange programme for national MPs called the Young MP Erasmus Programme, which allows them to spend time with the EPP Group and expand their network and knowledge of the European Union. The young members are actively involved in the debate on the future of Europe.