Donald Tusk was born on 22 April 1957 in Gdańsk, Poland. His father worked as a carpenter on the railway, his mother as a secretary at a hospital. When he was 14 years old, his father died.
In 1976 he started studying history at Gdańsk University, where he became involved in illegal activities against the Communist regime. At the time he cooperated inter alia with the underground Free Trade Unions and met the future Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa.
In 1980 Donald Tusk founded an Independent Students’ Association, NZS, which was part of the ‘Solidarity’ movement. He became the leader of ‘Solidarity’ at his place of work and a journalist on a newspaper published by ‘Solidarity’.
After martial law was imposed in December 1981 by General Jaruzelski, he remained in hiding for some time. He then worked as a bread seller and later, between 1984 and 1989, he earned his living as a manual labourer specialising in work at high altitudes with the aid of climbing equipment.
At the same time he was an activist in the underground Solidarity movement. After being arrested for a short time, he was set free following an amnesty for political prisoners announced by General Jaruzelski.
In 1983, Donald Tusk founded an illegal monthly ‘Political Review’, propagating economic liberalism and rules of liberal democracy. An informal think-tank supporting Lech Wałęsa was centred around the periodical. After the collapse of communism, think-tank members known as ‘Gdańsk liberals’ formed a government after the first free presidential elections in Poland.
Simultaneously they founded the first pro-business and pro-Europe party in Poland, the Liberal Democratic Congress, with Donald Tusk as its leader. He was also responsible for de-monopolising and privatising the former communist state-owned press concern.
In the 1990s, Donald Tusk was a Member of Parliament, inter alia deputy Speaker of the Senate. In these years he published a series of books on the history of Gdańsk, some of which turned out to be bestsellers. In 2001, Donald Tusk was one of the initiators of the new centrist party called the Civic Platform and in 2003 he became its leader.
In 2007, after a tough campaign he defeated the ruling rightist party and became Prime Minister. He was in office for seven years, which made him the longest-serving Prime Minister in democratic Poland, and the first one to be re-elected. During his seven-year term, Poland continued to maintain economic growth, and in the time of crisis the Polish economy grew by almost 20%, a record performance in Europe.
In 2014, Donald Tusk was elected to the position of President of the European Council and in 2017 re-elected for the second mandate of 2.5 years. His term ended on 30 November 2019.
In December 2019, he published a diary “Szczerze”, based on his five-year-term as President of the European Council, which became a bestseller in Poland. On December 2019, Donald Tusk assumed office of the President of the European People’s Party.
Antonio López-Istúriz (born 01 April 1970) has been the Secretary General of the European People’s Party since 2002 and a Member of the European Parliament since 2004.
After working in the Region of Madrid and in the People’s Party delegation at the European Parliament, in 1999 he became personal advisor to PM José María Aznar, a position that he held for almost four years until his return to Brussels as the newly-elected Secretary General of the EPP in 2002. Two years later, he was also elected MEP.
In the European Parliament, López-Istúriz currently sits on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and is a substitute on the Subcommittee on Security and Defence as well as for the Delegation for Relations with the United States.
He serves as Chair of the Delegation for Relations with Israel and as Member of the Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean.
López-Istúriz is also Secretary Treasurer of EPP’s think tank, the Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies (WMCES), and Secretary General of the Centrist Democrat International (IDC-CDI).
Mariya Gabriel is the current Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. She is also a Vice-President of the European People's Party.
As a Commissioner she is guiding EU policies relating to the Horizon Europe programme, innovations and research, the Erasmus + programme, education and culture. Her vision for this portfolio encompasses Europe as leader in the digitalisation and the fight against climate changes. She was previously the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society from 2017-2019.
For her productive work as Commissioner, Mariya Gabriel has been honoured with numerous awards. Among them is the award “Women of Influence 2018” in the category “Talent in Politics”, the most prestigious Italian prize “Golden Apple” for highest achievements for women, the Beaumarchais Medal for her contribution in the protection of the interests of European artists.
Since 2012 Mariya Gabriel has been Vice-President of EPP Women. As Commissioner she has been working on the cause of women rights and their better representation in the digital economy and society.
In May 2009 she has been elected as Member of the European Parliament from the list GERB/EPP. She has been re-elected as Member of the European Parliament in 2014 and became head of the Bulgarian delegation of GERB in the EPP Group. From 2014 to 2017 she was Vice-President of the EPP Group in the European Parliament. She was responsible for the EU’s external policy in the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean. Mariya Gabriel has been two times elected Member of the European Parliament of the year: in 2016 in the category “Development” and in 2013 in the category “Gender equality”.
David McAllister is a Vice President of the European People's Party.
McAllister was born in Berlin on 12 January 1971. After his he finished his secondary school in 1989, he served in the German Military for two years. He studied law with a scholarship awarded by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and has been a lawyer since 1998. In 2012 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Edinburgh.
His political career began in 1998, when he was elected as a member of the State Parliament of Niedersachsen. From 2003 till 2010 he served as Chairman of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) Group and from 2010 until 2013 as Prime Minister of Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony).
He has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2014. He chairs the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament.
Helen McEntee (born 8 June 1986) is an Irish Fine Gael politician and a Vice President of the European People's Party. She is Minister of Justice of Ireland.
She has served as Minister of State for European Affairs from June 2017 until June 2020. She has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Meath East constituency since 2013. She previously served as Minister of State for Mental Health and Older People from 2016 to 2017. McEntee is Co-Chair of EPP Europe Ministers group.
She was first elected as a TD at the 2013 Meath East by-election and she became the first Fine Gael candidate to win a by-election with the party in government since 1975. She was re-elected to represent the constituency in 2016, and subsequently appointed as a junior minister of state in the Department of Health.
As well as Minister of State for European Affairs, McEntee is also chair of the government's youth mental health task force, an organisation that works to increase awareness of mental health issues among young people.
Johannes Hahn (born 2nd of December 1957), originally from Austria, is the European Commissioner for Budget and Administration and is also a Vice President of the European People’s Party.
Involved since an early age with the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), Hahn was elected in 2004 as leader of the regional branch of the ÖVP of Vienna. In 2007 he was proposed by his party as Minister of Science and Research in the grand coalition government. He occupied that position until his appointment to the European Commission after the 2009 European elections. During the second term of Barroso’s Commission he served as the European Commissioner for Regional Policy.
Esther de Lange (born 19 February 1975) is a Vice President of the European People’s Party.
De Lange currently serves as a Member of the European Parliament for the Dutch Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). Since 2014 she has been the Head of the Dutch delegation in the European Parliament and Vice-Chair of the EPP group in the European Parliament in charge of relations with national parliaments.
She is also a member of the Committee on Economic and Monterey Affairs (ECON), and of the Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE) and she holds the position as Vice-Chair of the special committee on Financial Crimes, Tax Evasion and Tax Avoidance (TAX3). Besides that, De Lange is a member of the delegations for the EU relations with the United States and Russia.
Between 2007 and 2014 De Lange was a member of several Committees at the European Parliament including the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI), Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) and the Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT).
Antonio Tajani (born 04 August 1953), is a Vice President of the EPP and a Member of the European Parliament from Italy.
In 1994 he was elected for the first time as Member of the European Parliament and in that capacity he was member of the European Convention that drafted the European Constitution project in the early 2000s.
In 2008 he was appointed as European Commissioner for Transport and after the 2009 European elections he was re-appointed for the Industry and Entrepreneurship portfolio, taking over in 2010 and becoming also a Vice President of the Commission until he took his Parliament seat in 2014.
In January 2017 he was elected President of the European Parliament and he completed his mandate on July 3rd, 2019.
Siegfried Mureșan (born 20 September 1981 in Hunedoara, Romania) is a Vice President of the European People's Party, Vice-Chair of the EPP Group and a member of the European Parliament.
In 2004, Mureșan graduated the Bachelor’s Programme in German from the Academy of Economic Studies in Bucharest. He continued his studies with a Master’s degree in Economics and Management at the Humboldt University in Berlin, which he completed in 2006.
In 2006, he was part of the International Scholarship Programme of the German Parliament. Subsequently, from September 2006, he worked for three years as an Adviser to the Chairman of the Committee on European Affairs of the German Parliament, Gunther Krichbaum, and afterwards he worked from September 2009 to February 2011 in the European Parliament.
In 2011, he joined the Headquarters of the European People’s Party (EPP) as Political Adviser for Economic and Social Policy. In January 2014, he was promoted to Senior Political Adviser. In January 2015, he was appointed as Political Spokesman of the EPP.
In May 2014, he was elected Member of the European Parliament for a five-year mandate, where he became Vice-Chair of the Committee on Budgets. He was the European Parliament’s rapporteur for the general budget of the European Union for 2018.
In May 2019 he was re-elected in the European Parliament where he chose to continue as a member of the Committee on Budgets. In June 2019 he was elected as Vice-Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament, where he coordinates the position of the EPP Group on issues related to the EU budget, regional policy, agricultural policy and fisheries policy.
In September 2019, Mureșan was elected Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Moldova Parliamentary Association Committee.
Franck Proust (born 2 May 1963, in Poitiers) is a Vice President of the European People's Party.
Proust is a French politician of the Union for a Popular Movement who served as a Member of the European Parliament from 2011 until 2019. He is head of the French EPP Group delegation in the European Parliament.
He holds a postgraduate degree in market and management sciences from the Centre of Studies and Research of Clermont-Ferrand and works as an insurance agent.
On 23 June 2011, he started serving as a Member of the European Parliament and was re-elected in May 2014.
Paulo Rangel is a Vice President of the European People's Party. Rangel was born on the 18th of February 1968 in Portugal. He is a graduate in Law of the Catholic University of Porto (1991). He obtained a Masters in Legal and Political Sciences from University of Coimbra in 1994.
Rangel served as Deputy State Secretary to the Minister for Justice from July 2004 to March 2005. He is Chairman of the PSD Parliamentary Group in the Portuguese Parliament and a member of the Directive Board of the Commercial Association of Porto.
Published Books: Repensar o Poder Judicial, Porto (2001); Reserva de Jurisdição; Sentido Dogmático e Sentido Jurisprudencial, Porto (1997); Concertação, Programação e Direito do Ambiente, Coimbra (1994); Guerras Surdas - Crónicas da Tensão Política, Coimbra (2005); O estado do Estado, Lisboa (2009); Uma Democracia sustentável (2010).
He is a Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group and has been an MEP since 2009.
Petteri Orpo (born 3 November 1969) is a Vice President of the European People's Party and the party leader of Kokoomus. He served as Deputy Prime Minister of Finland from June 2017 to June 2019, and was the Economic and Financial Affairs Minister of Finland from June 2016 to June 2019.
He was the Finnish Minister of Interior from 2015 until 2016. From 2014 to 2015 he was the Minister for Agriculture and Forestry in Prime Minister Alexander Stubb's cabinet.
He was elected as party leader of Kokoomus in June 2016.
Christian Schmidt (born 26 August 1957 in Obernzenn) is the EPP Treasurer. He is a German politician and member of the centre-right Christian Social Union (CSU) and served as Minister of Food and Agriculture from 2014 until 2018. Since April 2018 Schmidt has been a member of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs for the CDU/CSU in the German Bundestag.
He was Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Defence from 2005 to 2013 and Parliamentary State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development from December 2013 until February 2014.
Schmidt was elected to the German Parliament, the Bundestag, in the 1990 elections. From 1991 to 2002 he was Chair of the national level CSU Working Group for Foreign, Defence and European policy. He then went on to serve as Chair of the CDU/CSU Parliamentary Defence Working Group. In this capacity he also served as the CDU/CSU spokesman for defence policy.
Christian Schmidt entered the German Parliament as a directly elected candidate, representing Fürth. In the 2009 Federal Election he won 43.3% of the First Votes. In December 2012 he was nominated for the seventh time as the CSU candidate for the upcoming Federal Parliamentary Elections in 2013. The CSU-Assembly of Delegates awarded him 98.7% of the vote (155 of 157 votes).
Ursula von der Leyen (born 8 October 1958) is the President of the European Commission and as such, an ex officio Vice-President of the EPP.
Von der Leyen served in the federal government of Germany from 2005 to 2019 as the longest-serving member of Angela Merkel's cabinet.
She was born and raised in Brussels, where her father Ernst Albrecht was one of the first European civil servants. She was brought up bilingually in German and French, and is of German and British American descent. She moved to Hanover in 1971, when her father entered politics to become Minister President of the state of Lower Saxony in 1976. As an economics student at the London School of Economics in the late 1970s, she lived under the name Rose Ladson, the family name of her American great-grandmother from Charleston, South Carolina. After graduating as a physician from the Hanover Medical School in 1987, she specialized in women's health. In 1986 she married fellow physician Heiko von der Leyen of the noble von der Leyen family of silk merchants. As a mother of seven children, she was a housewife during parts of the 1990s and lived for four years in Stanford, California, while her husband was on faculty at Stanford University, returning to Germany in 1996.
In the late 1990s, she became involved in local politics in the Hanover region, and she served as a cabinet minister in the state government of Lower Saxony from 2003 to 2005. In 2005, she joined the federal cabinet, first as Minister of Family Affairs and Youth from 2005 to 2009, then as Minister of Labour and Social Affairs from 2009 to 2013, and finally as Minister of Defence from 2013 to 2019, the first woman to serve as German defence minister. When she left office she was the only minister to have served continuously in Angela Merkel's cabinet since Merkel became Chancellor. She has been deputy leader of the CDU since 2010.
von der Leyen is the first woman to become President of the European Commission.
Manfred Weber (born 14 July 1972) is the Chairman of the EPP Group in the European Parliament since June 2014 (re-elected in May 2019) and as such, an ex officio Vice President of the EPP.
Weber was elected Member of the European Parliament in 2004 in his home region of Bavaria, Germany; and between 2009 and 2014, he was one of the 10 Chairmen of the EPP Group.
Before becoming an MEP, he was a Member of the Bavarian Parliament from 2002 to 2004 and between 2003 and 2007 he served as chairman of the Bavarian Junge Union, the youth organisation of his party.
The EPP Manifesto, also adopted at the 2012 EPP Congress in Bucharest, outlines the basic principles of the Party summarising who we are, what our values are, what challenges are we facing and what vision we have for the future. The Manifesto was developed in parallel to the EPP Platform document within the EPP Working Group 1 for “European Policy”.
The Party Platform was developed in EPP Working Group 1 for “European Policy” chaired by EPP President Wilfried MARTENS ?and EPP Vice President Peter HINTZE. The Working Group consists of delegates of EPP member parties who prepared and worked?on this document for more than two years and received input?from the drafting committee as well as senior and young experts. The document was adopted at the 2012 EPP Congress in Bucharest, thus replacing the Basic Programme of Athens from 1992.
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