On 16 March, more than 4000 politicians from Romania and all over the EU gathered at the Summit of EPP Regional and Local Leaders together with the EPP Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber to promote a pro-European vision for the future of Europe and to adopt the EPP Local and Regional Manifesto in view of the 2019 European elections.
At the summit, Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania, Manfred Weber, EPP Lead Candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, Ludovic Orban, President of PNL, and Antonio López-Istúriz White, MEP and Secretary General of the EPP and Michael Schneider, President of EPP-CoR, sent a powerful message for a united, value-based Europe that is close to its citizens, withstands populist pressures and provides sustainable solutions and opportunities for all.
Opening the event, Robert Sighiartau, Secretary General of the PNL, welcomed the participants: “You are the key for these European elections, you, the 4000 regional and local leaders from Romania and across Europe, who have the direct link with our citizens and they concerns.”
In his introductory speech, Klaus Iohannis, President of Romania said: “It is a pleasure to be at this event in the company of fellow EPP leaders deeply committed to the EU project and its values and determined to make a change in the lives of the European citizens. A better Europe starts at home, at local and regional level. The fight for a better Europe is our fight, the fight of all those for whom Europe is synonymous with peace, prosperity and liberty of all! the European People’s Party has the capacity to keep playing the role of main visionary political force at the EU institutions level.”
EPP Lead Candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission, Manfred Weber underlined the importance of listening to our citizens: “When we speak about the future of Europe we must start with listening. Europe and politics must start by listening and taking the concerns of people into consideration. I cannot imagine a better place than the Committee of the Regions. I really respect our mayors. As mayors, as representatives of the local level, you are every day close to the citizens and to listen to our mayors is the most important thing.”
Ludovic Orban, President of the Romanian National Liberal Party spoke about the direct connection of mayors with citizens: “There are no miracles, no miracle solutions. There is only our education, there is the work that our mayors of the National Liberal Party have done for the benefit of the communities they have led.”
“I am very grateful for the collaboration with the EPP Group in the CoR. It’s regional and local leaders who better know our citizens. You are the first point of contact to all. Elections cannot be won without your engagement and support. We need you and we know we can count on you.” continued Antonio López-Istúriz White, MEP and Secretary General of the EPP.
Michael Schneider, President of EPP-CoR highlighted the importance of EPP Local Dialogues for the European elections campaign: “We started our journey in Sofia last year in March with Prime Minister Borissov, we have continued in Austria in December with Chancellor Kurz and we are here today with PNL President Orban and President Iohannis. In these three flagship events and in all our EPP Local Dialogues across the EU, one particular force was clear: the strength of elected politicians representing all three levels of politics: local, national and European who have teamed-up together. This is about the trust of our people in their political leaders. This is how we want to work: together, as a united family, in the interest of our people! This is about subsidiarity and solidarity.”