Executive Committee meeting of leaders and Rome, 21 and 22 September
Rome, 21-22 September 2012
In accordance with previous planning, CDI devoted the past September 21 and 22, 2012, to two important political events.
On Friday morning, September 21th, the complete membership of the CDI Executive Committee met to discuss important organisational issues. In addition, other political matters of concern to member parties were discussed.
The afternoon was devoted to the Meeting of Leaders, which involved the presence and active participation of Prime Ministers, Government Ministers and other political leaders of a great number of countries of the five continents covered by CDI.
At the close of the official programme on Saturday 22 September, the delegates took part in a private audience with His Holiness the Pope, Benedict XVI, in his residency at Castel Gandolfo.
The meeting of the Executive Committee took place on the morning of Friday, September 21, in the “Capitolare” Room of the Italian Senate.
During the meeting, in which member parties of the five continents took part, several resolutions and working papers were approved, including the working papers on “The Arab Spring and Democratisation : Lessons to be Learned” and “Challenges to Democracy – Radicalism and Populism”. The drafting of these documents involved intensive inputs by the European parties as well as by the parties of Northern Africa and Lebanon.
The approved resolutions dealt with Lebanon, Panama, Venezuela, the instabilities currently engulfing the Arab countries, and recent attacks against Western interests in some countries affected by the so-called “Arab spring”. An additional resolution was devoted to the case of the whistleblower Magnitsky, who lost his life in prison in the Russian Federation in the year 2009.
The morning session was capped by the election of the President and of the new Executive Committee, which was unanimously approved.
The session was closed at 1 p.m., offering delegates the opportunity to have further debates on important issues of current interest.
Brussels, 28 January 2012
The President of the European People's Party (EPP), Wilfried Martens, concluded a successful two-day visit to Lebanon. During his visit, he met with the main political and religious leaders of the country and also represented the EPP at the event of the Centrist Democrat International (CDI):
"My meetings in Beirut gave me the opportunity to get first-hand information on the political situation of the country, in light also of the current developments in the region. Lebanon is a key country in the Eastern Mediterranean so I believe that the European Union needs to exercise greater political engagement," underlined the EPP President.
In Lebanon, President Martens met with the President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, and the Prime Minister Najib Mikati and discussed the political situation in Lebanon, Belgium, and international issues.
The EPP President attended a working dinner hosted by MP Nadim Gemayel and representatives from the 14 March Movement, including former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, and discussed the Arab Spring, the Middle East peace process, and the political situation in Lebanon. The EPP President took the floor during the panel 'The Changes in the Arab World'.
President Martens also participated in the meeting of the Executive Committee of the CDI and attended the CDI conference on the Arab Spring, co-hosted by Kataeb party and President Amine Gemayel.
Wilfried Martens met with the Patriarch of the Maronites, Bechara Boutros Raï, and discussed the situation of the Christians in Lebanon and in the Arab world and also about the specific and the historical role that the Maronite Church played as a bridge between the different religions, civlisations and cultures. Also, the importance of the interfaith dialogue and the recent papers published by the university of Al Azhar and its leader Al Tayyeb, were discussed.
Finally, the EPP President met with the President of the Party 'Lebanese Forces' Samir Geagea, and discussed the situation in Syria. They agreed that inaction from the international community on Syria is not acceptable and that the situation is dramatic. President Martens and President Geagea will remain in contact in order to formulate and promote an emergency solution on Syria.
Note to editors:
The EPP is the largest and most influential European-level political party of the centre-right, which currently includes 74 member-parties from 39 countries, the Presidents of the European Commission and the European Council, 17 EU and 5 non-EU heads of state and government, 13 members of the European Commission and the largest Group in the European Parliament.
For more information:
Kostas Sasmatzoglou, EPP Spokesman, Tel. +32-2-2854147
Javier Jiménez, EPP Senior and Communications Press Officer, Tel. +32-475480446