The European People’s Party’s (EPP) heads of state and government and opposition leaders met today in Brussels ahead of the European Council. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council President Donald Tusk were in attendance. EPP leaders also welcomed Antonio Tajani for the first time in his capacity as President of the European Parliament.

EPP leaders congratulate Donald Tusk for being re-elected for a second mandate at the helm of the European Council following the unanimous support of the entire EPP family.

“Donald Tusk has done a tremendous job during his first mandate as European Council President. His leadership, knowledge and dedication have been essential in providing solutions to the challenges Europe has faced over the past two years. Europe will benefit from Donald Tusk’s experience and commitment during his second mandate. The people of Poland have every reason to be proud to have one of their own fighting for European values and for the interests of all EU citizens. The EPP family wishes Donald Tusk a successful second term as President of the European Council, and we look forward to continuing to work with him,” said EPP President Joseph Daul.

The EU’s economy and the Western Balkans were also extensively discussed at the EPP summit. EPP leaders stressed the importance of having strong ties with the Western Balkans. The EU’s assistance and cooperation regarding the region’s path to the EU remains one of our priorities.

“The Western Balkans are our closest partners both geographically and historically; those countries are already inside the borders of the EU. We will do our utmost to further strengthen our relationships with the countries of the Western Balkans. The Western Balkans belong to Europe, and the EPP will work every day to support our member parties in delivering the reforms that these countries need, so they can take the place which they deserve at the heart of the European project. Together we will preserve security and stability in the region and in the whole of Europe, and we will overcome the mutual challenges we are facing.”

The positive trend of the EU’s economies was also discussed during the EPP Summit.

“For the first time in the past 10 years, the economies of all 28 EU Member States are growing. This is thanks to the reforms driven by the EPP’s policies over the years. Our policies have made Europe more resilient in the face of crisis. In many countries, deficits are declining, unemployment is going down, and our economies are all growing again. 2017 is the year in which people will reap the benefits of the sacrifices and efforts made in recent years,” concluded the EPP President.