Tymoshenko's Party To Join European People's Party

KIEV, Ukraine -- The Batkivshchyna Party founded and led by Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's Leader of the Opposition, has announced that it will become an observer member of the European People's Party (EPP) - Europe's largest pan-national centre-right party.

EPP President Wilfried Martens

The move recognises Batkivshchyna's commitment to furthering modern European democratic principles and values, and places Ms Tymoshenko alongside other EPP leaders who include the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The announcement to join the EPP will be made by Ms Tymoshenko during the convention of the Bloc of Yulia Tymoshenko (BYuT) being held in Kyiv today, ahead of Ukraine's parliamentary elections on 30 September, 2007.

EPP President Wilfried Martens, who will speak at the convention, said, "We welcome your efforts in building a democratic party with European values and principles, which will bring Ukraine and all her citizens a prosperous and peaceful future for all."

"Joining the EPP demonstrates our commitment to deliver political stability and economic growth for Ukraine, enshrined by the rule of law and best principles of European democracy. We will uphold these values," said Ms Tymoshenko.

The EPP is the largest European party on the continent with 69 members from 37 countries, 18 heads of state and government (12 EU and 6 non-EU), 9 European Commissioners and the largest Group in the European Parliament with 278 members.

EPP members lead all the major institutions of the European Union in the first half of 2007 - the European Council led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Commission led by President José Manuel Barroso, and the Parliament led by President Hans-Gert Pöttering.

Source: PR Newswire