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The European Parliament (EP) organises its Members into political groups according to their political affiliation. Of the seven groups that exist in this legislative term of the EP, the EPP Group is both the biggest and the oldest.
The EPP Group's core activity in the European Parliament is legislative work. The EP carries out the bulk of its work through specialised committees, which draw up, amend and adopt legislative proposals and reports. Our Members are represented in these parliamentary committees, where they hold many leadership positions, in proportion to our Group's size.
As the largest political group in the Parliament, we are in a stronger position than any other, not only for setting the political agenda but also for winning the most critical votes. In fact, since 1999, we have been on the winning side of more votes than any other group in the EP's monthly plenary sessions.
Unlike our Group, the core activity of the European People’s Party (EPP) is to formulate long-term political platforms, to serve as a focal point of contact for politicians of Europe's centre-right and to act as a political anchor for parties in non-EU European countries. The EPP holds regular congresses where representatives of member parties, national governments and organisations within the EPP family, such as the EPP Group, come together to discuss the political programme and determine the political direction of the EPP.
In addition, EU Heads of State and Government belonging to the EPP meet before every European Council to discuss the European Council agenda and coordinate political positions. These EPP Summits, as we call them, are an opportunity for us to discuss current affairs with our European counterparts.
The EPP Group brings together those EPP representatives who are elected Members of the European Parliament. The Group is represented in each of the Party’s main bodies: the Congress, Political Assembly and Presidency.
The topics covered by the EP’s committees are vast and wide-ranging. To reflect this, we organise our work in committees by Working Groups. These Working Groups formulate a high-level, coordinated EPP position on the reports and resolutions that the EP is voting on at parliamentary committee and plenary level.
The EPP Group first prepares the EPP position at committee level. The Working Groups then meet before each plenary. Here our Members discuss the reports, resolutions and other items in their specific policy fields to forge a common EPP line to take at the votes in the upcoming EP plenary session.
Our four Working Groups, which are each headed up by one of our Vice-Chairs, represent our key priority areas: economy, jobs and the environment; legal and home affairs; budget, agriculture and regional funding; and foreign affairs.
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Manfred Weber presides over our Group in his capacity as EPP Group Chair. EPP Group Members elected him as Chair on 4 June 2014 for a renewable term of two and a half years. The Presidency, Bureau and Working Groups then assist Mr Weber on a wide range of issues in the European Parliament.
Our Presidency brings together our Chair and ten Vice-Chairs, who head up our Working Groups and other parliamentary activities. The Presidency leads our Members in plenary sittings and represents our Group externally.
Our Bureau comprises the Presidency along with the Heads of National Delegations and other Group Members involved in the European Parliament’s functions (a full list is available in our Rules of Procedure). Our Bureau is responsible for making preparations for parliamentary plenary sessions, highlighting the questions most relevant to the Group from the perspectives of our National Delegations.
As the highest organ of the EPP Group, the Group Assembly consists of all the Group's Members. The Assembly’s role includes: taking decisions on all political matters dealt with inside or outside the European Parliament; electing the Group's Presidency; setting up Working Groups; and appointing Group Members to vacancies set aside for the EPP Group in European Parliament bodies.
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