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Former Belgian Prime Minister Wilfried Martens has been re-elected the president of the European People’s Party, EPP, in a congress held in Bucharest.
Wilfried Martens received an overwhelming 91 per cent of votes from delegates at the congress of the centre-right European People’s Party, EPP, in Bucharest.
"It is a great honour to be entrusted by the EPP delegates to lead our party for the next three years. In this difficult moment for Europe, it is with a heightened sense of duty that I remain dedicated and committed to my political family and to the European project,” Martens said.
The EPP also elected its ten vice-presidents on Thursday.
Political leaders from across the continent, including the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the President Council of Europe, Herman Van Rompuy, gathered in Bucharest for the summit meeting of EPP, one of the largest political groupings in Europe.
At the summit, the EPP delegates also discussed the updated party platform and the current economic situation in Europe.
Romania’s President Traian Basescu addressed the congress on Wednesday.
“Thank you very much for the support you gave to our institutions at a difficult moment during the summer," Basescu told the audience referring to the support he received from the EPP during his prolonged dispute with Prime Minister Victor Ponta.
Ponta’s center-left ruling coalition tried to impeach the president in a referendum held on July 29.
Most Romanians voted in favour of his impeachment, but Basescu remained in his post because the turnout was only 46 per cent, which was bellow the 50 per cent threshold required the referendum to be valid.
The battles between Romania’s prime minister and the president have caused concern in Brussels about Romania’s commitment to the rule of law.
Worries heightened when the government used emergency decrees to limit the Constitutional Court’s powers and replace the speakers of both houses of parliament and the national ombudsman. Basescu accused Ponta of organising “a coup”.
The President of the European Commission Barroso has since obliged the Ponta government to make 11 pledges of concrete action to reassure the EU that it remains committed to the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
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