The leaders of the European People’s Party (EPP) met today in Brussels ahead of the meeting of the European Council, where they reiterated their unwavering support for EPP Lead Candidate Manfred Weber. In the margins of the meeting, EPP President Joseph Daul made the following statement:

“EPP pioneered the democratic and transparent Spitzenkandidat process as a means of bringing Europe closer to the people. We remain committed to the procedure and to our Lead Candidate Manfred Weber. In last month’s European elections, the European citizens once again returned EPP as the biggest group in the European parliament. This is a validation of the Spitzenkandidat process which places citizens at the heart of European democracy. We have a duty to respect their votes and support Manfred Weber becomes the next European Commission President.

EPP leaders are united behind Manfred Weber. His recent re-election as EPP Group Chair is a further endorsement of his leadership abilities and the EPP’s support for him. We strongly believe Manfred Weber has all the necessary skills and experience to lead the next European Commission. His vast experience at the regional and European level of delivering concrete results, building bridges and moving beyond party politics makes him the best candidate for the job.”

During the summit, the EPP leaders also expressed their full solidarity to President Nicos Anastasiades over the latest Turkish provocation in Cyprus. The EPP strongly condemns Turkish drilling activities within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“We consider Turkey’s actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone to be a very serious breach of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. We continue to closely monitor developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and call on the Turkish government to cease its illegal actions immediately and their immediately and respect the territorial integrity of Cyprus. Cypriot citizens can count on our full support and solidarity”, said EPP President Joseph Daul.