The European People’s Party (EPP) today concluded its Political Assembly, held in Brussels, with participants reviewing a number of key issues in the EU – in particular the situation in Greece – and the latest developments in Russia and Ukraine.

In addition, the member parties of the EPP today approved a policy paper as well as two resolutions.

In the policy paper titled “Towards smarter regulation and cutting red tape in the EU’’ the EPP supports the efforts of the European Commission to stimulate the economy by reducing bureaucratic procedures. The resolution underlines that EU regulation should maximise benefits and minimise costs to businesses, citizens and public bodies.

The EPP calls on the Commission and the EU Member States to deregulate service economy sectors, when necessary, while respecting a high level of consumer protection to allow services to be provided according to the people-to-people principle. The EPP also emphasises that investments in digitalisation and competence building in national, regional and local administration will lead to permanent cost and red tape reductions when problems with implementation are tackled.

In the resolution “Bringing Solutions to the Skills Gap in Europe”, the EPP calls on the European Commission and the EU Member States to place education as a priority area of development and, among other measures, to promote excellence in higher education and encourage cross-border mobility among young people.

The resolution titled “The Armenian Genocide and European Values” condemns the genocidal acts against the Armenian people and appeals to the EU and Council of Europe Member States, as well as international organisations, to unite their efforts aimed at restoring historical justice and paying tribute to the memory of the victims of this genocide.

Moreover, the EPP Political Assembly adopted yesterday an emergency resolution asking the EU institutions to take into account the recent murder of prominent Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov while stepping up EU sanctions against Russia, as well as calling for an international investigation of the murder (see the EPP’s press release here).

In addition, today the representatives of the EPP member parties welcomed a delegation of Cuban dissidents who described the difficult situation regarding human rights in the country and the perspectives for a democratic transition in the near future.