A few weeks from crucial elections for the future of European integration, the European Democratic Party Council met today in Rome to rank in order of battle. Joined by three new members – UDI (France), National Forum (Croatia) and SDS (Slovakia) – the EDP intended to assert the need for "the peoples of Europe to take it over".
The EDP Secretary-General Marielle de Sarnez recalled that "EDP has a great responsibility to fight against populism and demagogues". Its clearly pro-European positioning, its vision of a European Union focused on the core issues and not on the accessory, its belief that European integration is a choice of sovereignty... are elements that structure now the European debate. The only answer to the rise of nationalism and populism is an efficient, democratic and united Europe. According UDI President Yves Jégo, "between those who want to get out of Europe and those who do not know what to do with Europe, there we Europeans, who love Europe and believe in Europe".
On this basis, the EDP Council welcomes new members from across the EU. For France, it is the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), which are running in the elections in common lists with the MoDem, a EDP founding. Also joined the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (SDS) and the new centrist party from Croatia, National Forum. UDI MP Chantal Jouanno welcomed the "fighting spirit" with which the EDP is campaigning, in support of Guy Verhofstadt, candidate for the presidency of the European Commission.
During the political debate, EDP delegates expressed a particular concern for the Ukrainian situation. All institutional solutions should be examined to enable the country to find a national consensus without any foreign pressure, including from Russia. The Ukrainian crisis also calls on Europe's energy independence and should be an opportunity for the EU to implement a European Energy Community, based among other things on renewable energy and new infrastructure for border interconnection capacity.