Europe’s Economic Recovery, Russia, Trade and Belarus top EPP Political Assembly agenda

29. June 2021
The members of the EPP’s Political Assembly (PA) met in a hybrid format on 28 and 29 June to discuss developments in member states, discuss the EU’s economic recovery from COVID, adopt position papers on EU-Russia relations and the future of Trade as well as a resolution on Belarus.
The PA held a key discussion on Europe’s economic recovery from COVID-19 with a video statement by President of the Eurogroup and Minister for Finance for Ireland Paschal Donohoe and a presentation by EPP Vice-President and MEP Siegfried Mureșan. With more national recovery plans being validated by the European Commission each day, EPP believes Europe is ready for a concrete recovery based on fundamental principles towards a greener, more digital and resilient economy. The Political Assembly expressed its support for the efforts of EPP leaders across the EU institutions and called on member states and their Heads of State and Government to implement concrete investments and projects that will foster recovery.
The members of the PA adopted a position paper on EU-Russia relations 'From a Strategic Partner to Strategic Challenge?". It stressed the need to develop an EU strategy towards Russia based on resilience and deterrence that also maintains our readiness for dialogue in areas of mutual interest. The main focus should be countering Russia’s aggressive behaviour combined with strong support for democracy, the rule of law, civil society, people-to-people contacts and the development of closer ties with the Russian opposition. The key to success vis-à-vis Russia will be unity within the EU as well as a common transatlantic approach.
The Political Assembly adopted a paper outlining EPP’s position on trade in the coming years entitled 'For a Powerful, Targeted EU Global Trade Policy'. Trade has a key role to play in Europe’s recovery and the EU must be a global trade power. Today’s EU trade policy— based on the principle of open strategic autonomy — must reflect the essential role the EU plays as a major multilateral actor. EPP champions open and fair trade based on commonly agreed and respected rules and a level playing field that ensures the fair treatment of workers and the sustainability of our planet.
The EPP Political Assembly gave their support to a resolution titled “Freedom for Belarus”. EPP believes that the Belarusian regime must stop the repression of political activists and its citizens, release all political prisoners and open dialogue with society. EPP strongly support the European Parliament’s call on the European Council to extend targeted EU sanctions against all individuals and entities complicit in electoral fraud and repressions, and to swiftly adopt and implement sectoral economic sanctions.
The Political Assembly wished a strong electoral victory to the EPP member parties for the elections in Bulgaria on 11 July. The members also wished a strong performance and good luck to PAS and Platforma DA for the parliamentary elections being held on the same day in Moldova.
At the start of the meeting a minute’s silence was held in honor of former SMK-MKP International Secretary Attila Lancz, ALDE party President Hans van Baalen and former Danish Prime Minister Poul Schlüter.

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The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 82 parties and partners from 43 countries, the President of the European Commission, 9 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 10 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.