Debate with EPP Campaign Director Dara Murphy and EPP-CoR members ahead of May 2019 EU elections
Today, members of the EPP Group in the European Committee of the Regions (EPP-CoR) discussed the input of EPP local and regional leaders in view of the May 2019 European elections with Dara Murphy, Vice-President of the European People’s Party and Campaign Director for the EU elections at the EPP-CoR Group meeting.
“Cities and regions matter in Europe, and for this reason, the members of our Group are working to ensure a high participation in the European elections”, said Michael Schneider, President of EPP-CoR, and continued:
“We welcome the EPP Manifesto, which supports strong regions and a strong cohesion policy and reflects the ideas of our Grassroots Engagement and the feedback received from citizens at our EPP Local Dialogues.”
Dara Murphy thanked the members of EPP-CoR Group for their strong support throughout the EPP campaign: “All the EPP Local Dialogues that you have been involved in have been an enormous support for us. This is also what Manfred Weber is doing as part of his Listening Tour: Listening to European citizens.”
Since the launch of the EPP Grassroots Engagement towards the EU elections in March 2018 in Sofia, Bulgaria, EPP leaders at the local, regional, national and EU levels have been collecting citizens’ feedback and listening to their hopes and concerns for the future of the European Union at dozens of EPP Local Dialogues across Europe.
The Grassroots Engagement continued in Lower Austria in December, sending a message of ‘Strong regions for a stronger Europe’ at a high-level debate between EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber and Sebastian Kurz, Federal Chancellor of Austria, hosted by Governor Johanna Mikl Leitner, member of EPP-CoR.
On 16 March, the Summit of EPP Regional and Local Leaders in Bucharest, adopted the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto in view of the EU elections in the presence of the EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber, President of Romania Klaus Iohannis, President of PNL Ludovic Orban and close to 4000 mayors and regional leaders.
“We want a European Union with the people and for the people that starts in our villages, cities and regions. We need a European Union deep-rooted in the territories, based on democratic values. As two thirds of EU legislation is implemented in our cities and regions, our EPP regional and local leaders play a crucial role in translating European policies into local solutions”, said President Schneider presenting the EPP Regional and Local Manifesto.
Emphasising again the valuable involvement of the EPP-CoR Group in the EPP campaign, Dara Murphy concluded: “The reference to strong regions in our EPP Manifesto is there because of your hard work and input. We have a clear position in the EPP on subsidiarity and I would challenge other political parties to do this. We, with our lead candidate Manfred Weber, have committed in our Manifesto to working together with cities and regions, and our EPP-CoR members who work closely with the citizens.”
Many members took the floor during the lively debate to endorse the EPP’s vision towards the 2019 EU elections and to pledge their support to lead candidate Manfred Weber.
The Group meeting preceded the Plenary session of the European Committee of the Regions, which takes place 10-11 April in Brussels. At the Plenary, local and regional leaders will launch the “Cities and regions for integration of migrants” initiative in the presence of Dimitris Avramopoulos, Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship. Members will also hold debates on a future EU budget that matches the ambitions of Europe’s cities and regions and on fundamental rights and EU values.
Photos of the meeting are available here.