The European People’s Party (EPP) leaders met today in Brussels ahead of the European Council. In the margins of the meeting, the EPP President Joseph Daul stated:

« The United States and the European Union are long time allies, in the fields of both security and trade. All EPP leaders stand behind the European Commission in working to ensure EU exemption from import tariffs due to be imposed on steel and aluminum. The recent signs are encouraging; we hope this will be translated into a long-standing exemption. »

The EPP leaders also discussed the negotiations for the exit of the United Kingdom.

« The safeguard of European citizens’ rights is and will remain our priority. We also reiterate our unwavering support to the Irish citizens, whose lives must not be disrupted by Brexit, » said the EPP President Daul.

The EPP also expressed its support to Spain on the Brexit negotiations regarding Gibraltar.

The attack that took place against Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury also featured prominently in the EPP Summit.

“We firmly condemn the attacks in Salisbury, and the U.K. can count on our full support to bring those responsible to justice. Russia must address all the UK’s questions,” stated Joseph Daul.

The EPP leaders also focused on the EU’s economy and competitiveness. All the advancements on the Single Market strategy, the Digital Single Market strategy and the Capital Markets Union Action Plan are making the EU’s economy more resilient and thriving.

As this EPP Summit took place exactly two years after the Brussels attacks, the EPP leaders held a minute of silence in memory of the victims. The EPP leaders, alongside leaders from other political parties, wore a white ribbon in a sign of unity in our fight against terrorism and of solidarity with the victims.

A tribute was also paid to late Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers, a committed Christian Democrat, who played an important role in the EPP and in shaping the EU.