Martens Centre Survey on ‘Regaining the Middle Ground for the Centre Right’ and discussions

The report highlights the presentation of the new Martens Centre Survey on ‘Regaining the Middle Ground for the Centre Right’ by Tomi Huhtanen, the executive director of Martens Centre. The focus of the survey was on understanding the mindset of the European middle class, particularly their economic, psychological, and security concerns. Despite these concerns, the survey revealed that trust in the European Union (EU) remains high. However, there is a growing sense of distrust towards Russia.

The role of political parties as agents of change was discussed during the presentation. Peter Hefele from the Wilfried Martens Centre and Kevin Maas, the former secretary general of YEPP, participated in the discussion. Questions arose regarding whether the party identified as right/middle-right and why there was a focus on the middle class.

It was emphasized that the party’s ideological alignment, whether Christian democratic or conservative, varies depending on the country. The core values of the European People’s Party (EPP) remain intact. There has been a noticeable shift towards right or conservative/right positions, but caution was advised regarding political semantics.

Focusing on the middle class was justified because they constitute the core electorate and voters. However, it was emphasized that this should not be an excuse to ignore other classes. The policy concept should not be exclusive but should primarily target the middle class, considering social mobility. The importance of including healthcare and solidarity as ‘core themes’ in addition to the economy and safety was acknowledged. The discussion also touched upon the balance between centralization and a decentralized approach within the EU. It questioned whether “more” Europe is always the best solution.

Another topic of discussion was the stance of the EPP on healthcare. The participants debated whether the main focus of the EPP should be on the economy and security or if they should continue supporting the stance on healthcare previously outlined three months ago. The consensus reached was that these issues are not mutually exclusive, and the EPP should address both.


Events in 2023

ESU Annual Report 2023


Our ESU 2023 Annual Report is available

Brainstorm on “Enhancing the Digital Skills of Seniors in the Slovak Republic”


The primary aim of this project is to optimize digital literacy among seniors in Slovakia by developing lessons focused on digitalization for seniors.

New perspectives about ageing better

NIcosia - Cyprus

Regional Conference in Nicosia on new perspectives about ageing better

UN International Day of Older Persons


President An Hermans has provided a message in on the occasion of the 33rd UNIDOP on October 1st.

The ESU joins UNIDOP celebrations in Cyprus

Foini - Cyprus

On October 1, ESU President An Hermans and Secretary-General Guido Dumon joined in the UN International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) festivities in Cyprus.

Empowering Active Retirees in the Digital Era: An Inspiring Encounter


On July 20, 2023, ESU-president An Hermans was invited to speak before a group of retired professionals in Kortrijk, Flanders on the topic: MIL.

News from the ESU associations: Thoughts and experiences to share


The final morning of the academy was dedicated to the ESU-association's internal aspects and future prospects.

Advancing a Human Rights-Based Approach to the Digital Environment


Patrick Penninckx led a presentation on fostering a sustainable, people-centered, and human rights-based approach to the challenges posed by digital environment

Europe as a task & Challenges for the EU


3rd Day of the ESU Summer Academy with guest speaker Herman Van Rompuy, Emeritus President of the EU Council

'Europe as a Task'


Insights into EU Governance: Exploring the European Commission and the European Semester at the Summer Academy

ESU's Visit to EPP Headquarters in Brussels


Strengthening Bonds and Understanding: ESU's Visit to EPP Headquarters in Brussels

"Why Europe? - Presidency Meeting with Prof. Steven Van Hecke"


ESU presidium meeting during first day of the Summer Academy

​​European People's Party Political Assembly in Munich


The EPP Political Assembly brings together representatives from all EPP member parties and associations

The European Day of Solidarity between Generations


The European Day of Solidarity between Generations aim is to raise awareness of the importance of intergenerational solidarity and to promote dialogue.

Symposium CD&V-senioren – CDA senioren – European Seniors’ Union


A fascinating day on ‘Creating dignity in the final phase of life"

National meeting 'Generation 60+' in Bozen/ Bolzano

Bozen/ Bolzano

'Generation 60+' held an election meeting in which Otto von Dellemann and Christine von Stefenelli were confirmed in their positions.

The EU’s Care Strategy – Perspectives and Reflections of the ESU


A European Care Strategy was at the center of the discussions at the ESU Executive Committee Meeting (EXCO), which took place on March 25, in Leuven.

ExCo meeting in Leuven- Side Event


The ESU Facilitated meeting between the Chairpersons of the Foreign Affairs Committees of the Belgian and Romanian Parliaments

Presidium and Executive Committee meeting in Leuven


On 24-26 March, we organised a meeting in Leuven with Presidium members and Executive Committee members.

Biennial national meeting of Hoyre-Seniors


ESU president An Hermans and general secretary Guido Dumon were invited to Bergen, Norway, for the biennial national meeting of Hoyre-Seniors.

A new EU healthcare strategy - Video conference with Sirpa Pietikäinen


Besides some information on ongoing ESU initiatives, the meeting focused on the new European care strategy.