Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Why vote for the European People's Party? - the EPP Manifesto

The centre-right European People's Party is one of the big two Europarties (alongside the centre-left Party of European Socialists), and their candidate for the Commission Presidency, Jean-Claude Juncker, has a chance of becoming the next Commission President. So what's in their manifesto? There isn't much of a manifesto on the EPP's own website (you can read about its stance on several policy areas here and they have a party platform from 2012 (PDF)), but there is a manifesto on Juncker's website - helpfully titled "Why vote for the European People's Party?"

The EPP has been the largest party in the European Parliament for the last 5 years and has been the biggest party in the Council (most of the Member States' (senior) governing parties were EPP members) and the Commission. In their manifesto they promote themselves as the responsible party of government that is willing to take tough choices. Unsurprisingly, they support continuing a lot of the current economic and fiscal policies of the Eurozone and talk of fiscal discipline. The EPP calls for structural reforms to encourage investment in new industries and condemns socialists as wanting to spend "other people's money".

The EPP supports an EU energy market and wants more investment in low carbon technologies. On free movement of people, the EPP remains a supporter, while on immigration the EPP talks about the need for stronger integration. Better co-operation on policing the Schengen common border is also an issue. They want a single market in digital services (as I go through the manifestos this is becoming a bit of a running theme), and states its commitment to data protection as a fundamental right.

On foreign policy and the EU's neighbourhood, the EPP thinks that the Member States can become more effective by acting together and stress the need to support democracy in Eastern Europe.

All in all the manifesto seems to be a "mother's apple pie" manifesto - a lot of the aspirations are vague and most of the statements and proposals aren't very controversial (not that there's anything concrete). The strongest themes are those of fiscal discipline and immigration, which is where the Europarty most distinguishes itself from the others.

So if you support the current policy of fiscal discipline in the Eurozone and want better common border controls, the EPP might be the party for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment