EPP Political Assembly in Brussels: Taking Responsibility for Citizen-Centric Policy Making

The Political Assembly of the European People’s Party (EPP) convened in Brussels on June 24-25. The meeting was chaired by EPP President Manfred Weber and EPP Secretary General Thanasis Bakolas. Delegates engaged in discussions regarding the recent European Parliament elections and shared reports on election outcomes from various member countries. Special interventions were made by Manfred Weber, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola.

The atmosphere at the start of the meeting was one of happiness, as the EPP celebrated its victory in the European elections. However, there was also a profound sense of responsibility to uphold the principles of the Bucharest Manifesto. Additionally, confidence in Ursula von der Leyen for a second term as President of the European Commission was expressed, and she was praised for her efforts during the past period.

The assembly began with a moment of remembrance for our former ESU Secretary General Guido Dumon, with the EPP Secretary expressing heartfelt thanks for his contributions to the EPP family.

Key topics discussed included the rule of law, democracy, the Single Market, and the notion that there is no freedom without security. This assembly marked the first representation of the new ESU board under the leadership of Stefaan Vercamer. This two-day gathering with delegations from all parties, members of the EPP, was not only an opportunity to evaluate the elections and discuss internal party matters, but for our President Vercamer, it was also a chance to meet people and become acquainted with the functioning of the EPP party.

During the two-day meeting, a session was planned between Stefaan Vercamer and Dubravka Šuica, the European Commissioner for Democracy and Demography. Stefaan emphasized the importance of ensuring that the voices of older adults are heard, highlighting several critical points:

  • Quality Long-Term Care (LTC): How can Europe ensure quality LTC for all who need it? This involves the relationship between the Commission and member states, known as the ‘European Semester’;
  • Depopulation and Rural Areas: Special attention to the challenges of depopulation and the living environment in rural areas;
  • Digital Literacy: Focusing on digital literacy for older persons and vulnerable groups;
  • Combating Ageism: Addressing and combating ageism in all its forms;
  • European Care Strategy and Social Pillar: Stressing the importance of the future development of the European Care Strategy and the ‘Social Pillar’;
  • Understanding Needs of Older Adults: Emphasizing the necessity of better understanding the needs of people over 74, as this age group is often excluded from statistical research, which is unacceptable.

The assembly was a crucial platform for setting the agenda for the upcoming period, ensuring that the EPP remains committed to its principles and responsive to the needs of its diverse constituency.

 

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