[The Parliament Magazine]: Donald Tusk elected as new EPP president during annual Congress in Zagreb
Zagreb, 21st November 2019.
This year’s European People’s Party (EPP) Congress which kicked off in Zagreb, Croatia on Tuesday, saw the coming together of more than 2000 centre-right Christian Democrats from across the EU, Norway and Ukraine. A key item on the Congress’s agenda was the election of the party’s new President, with former EU Council President Donald Tusk elected to replace outgoing President, former French MEP, Joseph Daul.
Following Tusk’s election, Croatian MEP Željana Zovko said she believed Tusk’s appointment was recognition of the growing importance of Central European countries in the EU. “Considering Poland only joined in 2004, the country had to overcome much to join to the EU. Tusk was one of the key players who explained the added value that newer members can bring to old Europe.” said Zovko.
Zovko also said the timing of this year’s EPP get-together was significant, providing an opportunity to set the agenda for Croatia’s upcoming EU Council presidency beginning on 1 January 2020. She said Croatia’s hosting of the EPP Congress, “sends a huge message to the people of Croatia, where we are preparing for the upcoming EU presidency and also to the people of the Western Balkans as a whole.”
Zovko agreed that this year’s European election results highlighted the fact that the EPP isn’t the dominate force it used to be and that populist parties were potentially drawing away support. Zovko also warned: “When you don’t have a strong centre-right, you see the rise of two extremes, and this pushes us to conflict.”
However, she added that the Congress was an opportunity “to send a message that highlights our unity and strength” and to set out the EPP’s vision for the EU for the next five years: “I want to see a new vision that will be adapted to the needs of ordinary people. What we struggle with, in the EU, is to make our vision understood better by citizens. With a new Commission will come new ideas.”
Source:The Parliament Magazine