President Traian Basescu is attending on Thursday and Friday a summit meeting in Dublin of the European People’s Party (EPP), which will choose its candidate for the chairmanship of the European Commission to ensue this year’s European elections. Yesterday the Romanian Head of State was due to attend the first plenary session of the summit, while at 20:30hrs he was to join a dinner party extended by Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.
On Friday, President Basescu will attend the second plenary session of the EPP summit. Traian Basescu said he is attending the EPP summit meeting as a guest and not in his capacity as member of the EPP.
‘In Dublin, I will be one of those who will watch the EPP Congress. Since I will be there as a guest, I will have no role to play. I only give a political signal that I am a country president coming from a party that is an EPP member,’ Basescu said before leaving, as quoted by Agerpres. He insisted that his presence at the EPP summit meeting is not related to his EPP membership.
A delegation of Romania’s opposition Democratic Liberal Party (PDL) headed by PDL national leader Vasile Blaga also left for Dublin to attend the summit meeting of the Congress of the European People’s Party (EPP). ’37 PDL members will be representing PDL at the EPP Congressa, among which PDL First Deputy Chair Anca Boagiu, PDL presidential candidate Catalin Predoiu; First Deputy Chair Andreea Paul; Secretary General Gheorghe Flutur, as well as deputy chairs Roberta Anastase, Sulfina Barbu, Ioan Balan, Alexandru Nazare, Romeo Raicu and Stefan Gheorghe,’ PDL reports in a press release.
There are nearly 2,000 people expected to attend the summit coming from 39 European countries, including European leading politicians Angela Merkel (Germany), Mariano Rajoy (Spain), Viktor Orban (Hungary), Donald Tusk (Poland), Fredrik Reinfeldt (Sweden), Laimdota Straujuma (Latvia), Antonis Samaras (Greece), Jyrki Katainen (Finland), Pedro Passos Coelho (Portugal) and Nicos Anastasiades (Cyprus). Also invited are President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barrosos and President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy. The process to select the EPP candidate for President of the European Commission started in February 13. March 5 was the last day to submit candidacies, EPP Congress delegates being due to vote to elect the candidate on March 7.
The EPP, the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, is the last pan-European formation of the main three to have not selected a candidate for President of the European Commission. The European Socialists have already announced their candidate will be current President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, while the European Liberals are betting on Belgium’s former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt.