Lisbon, 18 November 2022
The European People’s Party (EPP) gathered in Lisbon from 17-18 November for its Political Assembly, with the aim of strengthening the bonds between member parties ahead of the European elections in 2024. This was the first time that the Assembly was live-streamed and opened its doors to the press to be more transparent and inclusive.
The Assembly featured speeches by EPP President Manfred Weber, opposition party leaders Luis Montenegro (PSD) and Nuno Melo (CDS) from Portugal as well as Alberto Nuñez Feijóo (PP) from Spain. It also included video interventions by Vitaliy Klitschko, Mayor of Kyiv, Yulia Tymoshenko, the leader of the Motherland Party, and Oleksandra Matviichuk, joint Nobel Peace Prize winner from 2022.
President Weber made clear in his speech that the EPP is at a “turning point” following the party Congress in Rotterdam in June. He emphasised that the party “offers reasonable solutions in challenging times” and expressed optimism that centre right parties will achieve good results in the upcoming national elections in member states, including those in Spain and Poland. President Weber also stated that any political force that collaborates with the EPP “must respect the following red lines: they must be pro – European, pro – Ukraine and pro – rule of law”.
On the second day of the Assembly, EPP delegates voted in favour of Slovak party OL’aNO becoming an ordinary member party of the EPP. The EPP is proud to count Slovakia as its 8th member at the European Council table. In a press conference following the vote, Slovakian Prime Minister Eduard Heger welcomed the decision with “great joy” and as an “act of recognition of our efforts on the domestic political scene.” President Weber also paid tribute to OL’aNO’s efforts to reform the country, “and go into a future that is based on a pro-European, pro-NATO, and also pro-rule of law approach.”