Zagreb, Croatia – Lídia Pereira, President of YEPP and Member of the European Parliament, addressed the plenary during the EPP Congress today. In her speech, she stressed the need to address the current rise in populism and turn from traditional parties and stated that the solution is found within the party itself, by remembering its genesis and values.

Furthermore, Lídia Pereira outlined that in times when populism and extremist movements represent a threat to our democracy, we must remember our values, as these will ultimately aid in facing these. In Ms Pereira’s words: “because in times of fragmentation, we bring people together.” She reiterated that the EPP is there to serve the people of Europe regardless of their geographical location, age or social status. We must be at the forefront of shaping the future that will benefit all Europeans equally without prejudice.

Ms Pereira continued: “We carry the legacy, but now the responsibility is for us to move forward”, adding that the issues at the heart of Europeans is taxation, work as well as climate change. Overall, reechoing the need to be a party that is proactive instead of reactive.

In her conclusion, Ms Pereira addressed the new leadership of EPP and defined aviation fuel taxes and single use plastics as two clear challenges for this EPP board mandate. Lídia Pereira stated that we must reach every European be it marching on the streets, in schools or universities, their voices must be heard. She concluded by stating “there is no us and them, we are the people” and urged that we work stronger and smarter together in order to address the issues that really matter to our people.