In every family there is one "enfant terrible" and as a Christian Democrat I prefer to keep it in family and to talk to that child, President of the European People’s Party (EPP), Joseph Daul, said on Wednesday, asked during the EPP Congress opening press conference in Helsinki, Finland, if he would be in favour of Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban being expelled from the EPP.
Replying to another question, Daul noted that there has been no discussion at all for accepting the party of Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini in the EPP.
An EPP resolution put forward at the Congress, entitled “Protecting EU Values and Safeguarding Democracy” calls on all EPP members and associations to respect, protect and promote EU principles and values, noting that EPP is "strongly concerned by increasing restrictions on the constitutional system, the independence of judiciary, the fight against corruption, freedom of media and civil society in several member states.”
Referring to the two runners for the position of the EPP’s candidate for European Commission presidency, Manfred Weber and Alex Stubb, who will be elected on Thursday during the Congress, Daul said that they are both excellent and represent the new generation who will bring new life to Europe, stressing that “we would like a Europe that acts and we want a Europe who is there for its citizens.”
Moreover, he noted that "the EPP doesn’t have to be ashamed of what we have achieved and of its heritage," adding that
“the young generation is coming and they see things differently. Things will be done differently and we have to accept this.”
Asked about the fact that the percentages of parties which are members of the EPP are decreasing, Daul said that “people in power always lose.”
On his part, EPP Secretary General, Antonio Lopez-Isturiz, said that both candidates for the position of the EPP’s lead candidate are outstanding, adding that the one elected will face the European Socialists candidate for the Commission’s Presidency Frans Timmermans.
Head of the hosting Finnish Kokoomus party, Petteri Orpo, who is the Finance Minister of Finland said that for his country this conference is an opportunity “to show our commitment to Europe and to the EU.”
He also noted that “Europe needs to continue to provide peace and prosperity to its citizens.”